Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics
Professor Stein W. Wallace was the only non-American member of the Syngenta Crop Challenge Prize Committee in its 2017 version in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This prize was awarded at the 2017 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Syngenta Challenge aims to "spur the development of analytics to address the challenge of world hunger" (More details available at the Syngeta Challenge website).
The 2017 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics focused on the seed retailer. The seed retailers sell soybean seed varieties to the farmers. The farmers require different soybean seed varieties based on expected growing conditions. Thus, seed retailers are expected to have available the right supply of soybean seed varieties to meet the demand of farmers. In other words, to maximize yield in a region with a large number of farmers, the retailers need to predict and stock the soybean variety seeds that will thrive best in the farmer’s most common growing conditions. It is difficult for a seed retailer to predict which seed varieties to stock almost a year in advance to the soybean crop planting by the farmers.