Featured image and use of screenshots courtesy of and authorized by Seminis Vegetable Seeds
Long known for its innovation in the seed industry, Seminis Vegetable Seeds Inc. is ramping up its digital presence with an exciting virtual field tour accessible at www.OnionExperience.com, which goes live today, May 21.
A reinvention of the popular Onion Idea Exchange, or iX, event, which was set for mid-April in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Seminis is bringing the same fields – along with the insights and information that field tours always include – into our homes through the new website launched this week.
As it takes growers through Donna, TX, onion fields, the website also showcases innovations in crop protection, seed treatments, agricultural research, resource management and mechanical innovation, Seminis rep Emily Standley said.
The result illustrates the company’s commitment to innovation, both in seed production and in its approach to ag solutions. With a history that goes back more than 150 years, Seminis has focuses on producing “the best vegetable seed varieties for growers to use in farming operations around the world.” Today it is represented by the Seminis® and DeRuiter® seed brands and is the Vegetable Seeds business of Bayer’s Crop Science division.
Emily and PR Rep Halli Kubes gave OnionBusiness a personal digital tour of the site on May 20, explaining the combined effort of Seminis’s team to see the Onion iX come to fruition after COVID-19 halted plans for the live event.
“We have had iX events for other crops, but this was going to be the first iX field event for onions,” Emily said. She said the team worked for five weeks to record the site’s components, with each team member lending expertise.
Recording on their cellphones, the team brought the elements together. “All were on the ground to do the recording,” Emily said. “Everyone was involved, including tech people.” At the Seminis Research Station in Donna, the station manager was recording. So were sales reps, those in market development and the pathology team. “Our project manager recorded from his backyard,” she said.
Timing was critical as well, because the team had to wait for the onions to reach maturity.
“The team did a great job in keeping the videos manageable,” Emily said. Most are between one and two minutes in length, although one participating water treatment company provided a full-length video as well.
There are also downloadable PDF brochures, including one explaining the commercial offerings that are divided by color. And, Emily said, the site will also be live in Spanish.
Emily said the entire site will be up “for the foreseeable future,” and there is a contact section for growers or consumers to use if they have questions or comments.
In a press release from Seminis, Candice Stansfield, Regional Marketing Director for Seminis, noted, “Now more than ever innovation and collaboration are key in agriculture, so Seminis wanted to move forward with our Onion iX event. Agriculture is resilient and keeps pressing on despite what is happening all around us. Growers still have a lot of decisions to make for their operation, and through this virtual Onion iX experience, we hope to deliver growers the insights they need for a successful future.”
Seven mostly short- and mid-day varieties were in the field trials, with information on the site.
The complete online resource provided by OnionExperience.com will include:
- Breeding for Success, where growers can learn about marketing trends and where Seminis breeders are putting their focus.
- Automation Demos showcase technologies that can save growers time and money like weeders, planters and harvesters from vendor partners like A-1 Implements, PlantTape® and UNIVERCO.
- In Commercial Offerings and Yield Demonstrations, Seminis breeders will highlight the current and new Seminis onion portfolio, as well as review system trial updates from those fields.
- Netafim and YARA highlight innovations in Water and Nutrient Management.
- First In, First Out features a study that challenges the thought that the first to plant will be the first to harvest, while Taking Root with Seed Treatment features a study by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension that investigates the effects of seed treatments on onion plant growth.
The Consumer Corner which provides consumers the opportunity to learn more about ag and onions. A Seminis release noted, “The educational tool brings the farm to life so they can learn more about where their food comes from. It includes fun trivia, photos from the field, and videos about onions.”
There’s also a webinar on May 28 with Seminis Short Day Globe Onion Breeder Franco Asoro, who will give his insights into the onion breeding process and highlight recent product launches. He’ll also provide a look at pre-commercial varieties that are coming down the pipeline. Sign up for the webinar here: http://onionexperience.com/tx-en/breeding/
Stansfield said, “While we’re sad we cannot host everyone in person this year, we’re happy we can still share the latest product developments, agronomic information and technical highlights in a way that allows our growers to feel like we’re all together on the field. We’re proud of everything our onion growers are doing to keep food on our tables and are committed to doing everything we can to support them to ensure their ongoing success.”
And about the website, www.OnionExperience.com, Emily said, it “was a fun and unique experience” that came from the team’s desire to share the results of time and research put into the 2020 iX event.