Frequently Asked Questions
Enogen Technology Investment
1. How much has Syngenta invested in development?
Enogen Corn’s Business Potential
1. What is the business potential?
2. How many acres of Enogen corn could be planted this spring?
3. How would that grain be used?
4. What are the economics of Enogen corn from the grower’s point of view?
5. How much Enogen corn have you produced?
6. Do you plan to out license the Enogen trait?
Enogen Corn’s Closed Production System
1. Will the Enogen corn amylase trait be widely available to corn growers?
2. What do you mean by a “contracted closed production system”?
3. Is this kind of system unusual in the industry?
Certain Food Processor Concerns
1. How do you keep Enogen corn out of those wet and dry milling food and industrial starch processes?
2. Where are you with grain trade concerns?
3. Does the proliferation of grain types that must be specifically directed create problems for the industry?
1. How many biotech crops does Syngenta have?
2. How can I become a grower of Enogen™ corn hybrids?
3. Is Enogen™ corn approved for human consumption?
4. What is the yield performance of the hybrids in the program?
5. What are the stewardship requirements?
6. Why is stewardship important?
7. Does Enogen™ corn affect feed or livestock?
8. Is Enogen™ corn suitable for other uses of corn?
9. Will the local grain elevator take my Enogen™ corn?
1. Enogen corn is a revolutionary hybrid designed for increasing ethanol plant profitability potential, creating new opportunities for corn growers and enhancing the viability and sustainability of ethanol.
2. Enogen corn will bring significant bottom line benefits to ethanol producers (up to 8-12 cents per gallon) and increase overall industry efficiency at a critical time.
The product will reduce energy and water use in ethanol production plants and increase ethanol output while significantly reducing a production plant’s carbon footprint (approximately 10 percent).
3. In traditional ethanol production, enzymes such as alpha-amylase and gluco-amylase in liquid form are added to grain to provide a fast, safe and economical transformation of starch to sugars. What Syngenta has done with corn amylase is express the enzyme directly in the grain. This makes starch conversion much more efficient and the more efficient the starch conversion, the more efficient the process is to produce ethanol. This improves the overall productivity of the dry grind corn ethanol production process in ways that cannot be achieved with liquid enzymes.
4. In 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed its consultation process for corn amylase, meaning it is approved for human and animal consumption the same as conventional corn. Enogen corn has undergone rigorous evaluations, including an assessment of allergenicity following methods recommended by several regulatory authorities, international organizations and the scientific community. This research was evaluated by the FDA and other regulatory organizations around the world.
5. As of Jan. 2011, the Enogen corn amylase trait (Event 3272) is approved for:
- import into Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia and Taiwan
- cultivation in Canada and the U.S.
As of Jan. 2011, the Enogen corn amylase trait (Event 3272) stacks are approved for import into Japan, Philippines and Mexico.
6. While the original source of the organism was from natural marine hydrothermal systems, Syngenta refined the amylase enzyme to be used in ethanol production. State-of-the-art tools were used to confirm the similarity of this amylase enzyme with existing amylases, which are ubiquitous in nature; they are even present in human saliva, so they are very well understood.
7. By enabling expression of an optimized alpha-amylase enzyme directly in corn, the Enogen corn amylase trait improves dry grind ethanol production in a way that can be easily integrated into an ethanol plant’s existing infrastructure. For example, in a 100-million gallon plant, efficiency improvements enabled by Enogen grain can save 67 million gallons of water, 10 million KWh of electricity and 350 billion BTUs of natural gas while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 106 million pounds.
8. Enogen corn provides corn growers the opportunity to participate in growing a value-added specialty crop for a contracted premium over the commodity market price of corn.
9. Enogen corn increases ethanol production efficiency and reduces energy and chemical use in the production of ethanol from corn. Using a Department of Energy model, Syngenta has calculated that ethanol plants using Enogen grain could reduce the environmental impact of ethanol production by 10 percent or more.
Enogen Technology Investment
1. Ag biotech products require $150-200 million investment in R&D. Enogen technology is in that range.
Enogen Corn’s Business Potential
1. We anticipate a small number of ethanol plants will be using Enogen grain in 2011-2012.This will be contract-grown near the ethanol plants mainly in the western Corn Belt. We believe that more than 50% of the current ethanol industry would have strong motivation to adopt Enogen technology.
2. About 20,000 acres would be planted for Syngenta's first customers and for testing with new ethanol plants.
3. Syngenta would supply our contracted ethanol plant customers and conduct additional testing.
4. Enogen corn seed will be priced to the grower the same as other hybrids—based on the performance potential of the genetics. Growers will receive a premium price when they sell their grain to ethanol production plants. This is an incentive for them to manage their crop in the closed production system. The premium reflects the value to ethanol producers in terms of lower production costs.
5. Over the last three years, Kansas and Nebraska farmers have grown more than 4 million bushels of Enogen grain under regulated conditions, which has been used to produce nearly 100 million gallons of ethanol in full-scale trials in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.
6. No. As part of our rigorous, contracted closed production system. Syngenta will strictly manage sales of Enogen corn.
Enogen Corn’s Closed Production System
1. No. Enogen corn is not commodity corn. It is a high-value specialty grain for the very specific use of dry grind corn ethanol plants, similar in many ways to other specialty grains such as white corn, waxy corn or high oil corn. Enogen corn will be produced, managed and used in a rigorous, contracted closed production system using the best-in-class grain management systems available. Initially, it will be positioned with a small number of licensed ethanol plants in a limited area of the western Corn Belt. Its market introduction will be much more targeted than historical input traits like Bt corn.
2. To ensure that Enogen grain is properly directed to dry grind ethanol facilities, Syngenta consulted with industry stakeholders and experts to gain understanding of best-in-class grain management systems and applied those principles to the system devised for Enogen corn. Under this system, ethanol plants will contract directly with growers within their specific geographic areas for production and delivery to the ethanol plant. Written agreements and financial incentives with growers will specify acreage planted, bushel production, dedicated storage, delivery period, delivery location and cleaning requirements for planter, combine, storage and transportation systems. Syngenta will employ dedicated grain systems managers to oversee the process of grain movement from farm to ethanol plant.
3. No, this type of grain management system is commonplace for many specialty grains such as white corn, waxy corn or high oil corn. However, the closed production system developed for Enogen corn goes well beyond the stewardship requirements of most other high value specialty grains.
Certain Food Processor Concerns
1. In addition to the closed production practices that are in place to ensure that Enogen corn is delivered only to licensed dry grind ethanol plants, Syngenta has developed a plan to avoid growing Enogen corn in the direct corn growing areas of the wet and dry mill food and industrial starch plants, further reducing the risk. Finally, detection methods will be available to test for the presence of the Enogen trait should a processor choose to use them.
2. We have taken an unprecedented step of working directly with certain industry groups concerned with possible effects of our product on their processes. We have worked to ensure they know our comprehensive stewardship program designed to direct our product to ethanol processing plants where it is intended. We have also provided a substantial body of research regarding the impact on starch functionality.
3. The U.S. grain industry has long been moving away from undifferentiated commodity grains in favor of an increasing number of value-enhanced grains. This is to meet increasing user demand for grain that has characteristics desirable for specific needs. The industry now has a long history of successfully using grain management systems to source desired specialty grains. Growers have benefited from the production of high value specialty grains because they are typically incented for producing and properly stewarding the products.
1. Syngenta has a number of biotech crops that it has either developed or licensed, all or in part.
Agrisure Viptera™ 3111 trait stack: The Agrisure Viptera trait stack has demonstrated unsurpassed multi-pest control of 14 yield- and quality-robbing insects and is able to provide the broadest spectrum of above-ground insect control.
Agrisure® 3000GT trait stack: The first triple stack with no history of trait-related yield drag offers above and below-ground protection from corn borer and corn rootworm, plus both glyphosate and glufosinate tolerance for weed control flexibility.
Agrisure Artesian™: Al
though not genetically modified, this is our new line of water optimized hybrids and the newest addition to the Agrisure® family of high-performance trait products. Agrisure Artesian technology enables corn plants to use available moisture more efficiently and has demonstrated the potential to deliver 15% yield preservation under moisture stress.
Agrisure CB/LL: Bt11 event (CB portion) with LibertyLink® technology (the (LL portion) which provides control corn borer control and is tolerant to glufosinate (Ignite®) herbicide.
Agrisure GT: GA 21 which provides tolerance to in-crop applications of glyphosate-based herbicides (Touchdown® and Roundup®)
Agrisure RW: MIR604 which provides corn rootworm control
- In soybeans, we have licensed rights to Roundup Ready® and Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® technology.
We have more biotech seed products in our pipeline for corn, soy and wheat.
3. Enogen™ corn is approved for human and animal consumption. The product successfully completed the Food and Drug Administration consultation process in August 2007.
4. Based on Syngenta strip trial results, the hybrid performance is equal to or better than other commercial hybrids on the market with similar maturity and trait package.
5. Simple but practical stewardship steps will be required for managing planting, isolation, production reporting, harvesting, storage and transportation. In addition to following specific stewardship requirements, program growers will participate in training sessions and receive a stewardship manual for managing Enogen™ corn on their farm operation.
6. Good stewardship practices are important because the ethanol plant has committed to license a new technology from Syngenta and expects a consistent supply of quality Enogen™ grain. Enogen corn has unique benefits for ethanol production and is a high value product.
7. Based on testing of Enogen™ corn in livestock feeding trials for poultry, hogs and cattle, there is no difference in nutritional composition or feed performance compared to normal dent corn. Enogen corn is suitable for livestock feeding; however, it is a high value grain product that improves corn to ethanol production.
8. Syngenta has done extensive research on the effects of the Enogen trait on end uses of corn and has concluded that more than 98 percent of corn uses are either impacted positively (e.g. dry grind ethanol) or have no impact at all. For the roughly two percent of corn that is used for food or industrial starch, some concentration of the Enogen corn trait, depending on the specific process, can have a thinning effect on the desired starch functionality and should not be used in those processes.
9. Enogen™ corn can only be delivered to the ethanol plant or other delivery destination(s) approved by Syngenta stewardship managers. The local elevator will not have a license agreement to receive Enogen™ corn unless Syngenta and the ethanol plant have a commercial agreement in place with a specific local grain elevator company.
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