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John Orlowski


Everybody has heard of Round Up Ready technology and a lot of people think that it is great.  And it is great.  However, there are certain limitations to the technology that people should be aware of.  Glyphosate (Roundup, Touchdown) is what is known as a burndown herbicide.  The molecule is absorbed through foliage and is translocated to the growing points of the weed where it inhibits amino acid synthesis.  Because it requires growing plant tissue to work, glyphosate has no residual effect.  So, any weeds that emerge after glyphosate is applied are safe from its effects.  This means that multiple applications of glyphosate are usually required to keeps crop areas free of weed.  Weed control can be greatly improved by combining glyphosate (or another burndown herbicide) with a chemical (such as atrazine or S-metolachlor) that has residual action.  This system not only kills weeds that are present, but prevents the germination and emergence of other weeds.  Now remember that certain chemicals are labeled for certain crops, so be sure that you read the label before applying anything.  Also note that glyphosate technology only works with crops that are specifically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate.  So if you are going use glyphosate on your corn, make sure that it is glyphosate tolerant or your will be very sorry.

Take Care,



Syngenta spends a bit more than two million dollars a day on research.  So what are they researching?  I work in the crop protection side of everything, so I will talk about that.  Syngenta Crop Protection has a product or products for pretty much all major crops.  Here is a little rundown of what we are working on this year: corn, soybeans, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, squash, pumpkins, onions, carrots, turfgrass, crabapples, lilacs, cyclomen, asters, boxwood, phlox, pansies, and marigolds.  Some of this research involves the development of new chemicals or reformulations of existing registered chemicals.  Some trials are testing the safety of existing chemicals on new crops and others test adjuvants.  Sygenta is unique because the majority of its trials are conducted “in-house,” by Syngenta scientists.  Most other companies contract their work out to private researchers.  So if you are thinking about research, and you are looking to make some money, look into agricultural chemical research.

Syngenta Crop Protection

Hi all, I recently got added to the interns blog so I have a lot of catching up to do.  First off, my name is John Orlowski.  I am going to be senior this year double majoring in Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.  This summer I am a research intern with Syngenta Crop Protection.  Syngenta is the largest pure agriculture company in the world.  They deal with agricultural chemicals, seed and crop traits like many of the other large companies.

So how did I get this internship, you might ask?  Well, I asked for it.  Funny huh?  I was in the AgSci Seminar (AGSCI 4010) one day and Toni briefly mentioned that he had an internship request for Syngenta.  So after the seminar, I went up to his office and looked at the posting.  It said Syngenta was looking for a long term (9-12 month) intern.  That is a little bit too long for a summer position.  A lot of people would have gave up on it at this point.  BUT DON’T GIVE UP, really.  I just e-mailed the contact for the position and told him that I was qualified, but I could only work three months during the summer.  He asked me to send my resume, which I did.  They liked it, so we set up an interview at the Glenwood Pines (best eats in Ithaca) and then a couple of weeks later, they offered me the job.  I am not tooting my own horn here.  I just want others to know that it usually doesn’t hurt to ask….SO ASK.  Also here are some tidbits I learned from the interview:

  • Most of the time an employer is going to care more about what kind of person you are and what work ethic you have, compared to classes or previous jobs.
  • Include those little summer jobs like baby sitting or working at a summer camp with kids- they can really show a lot about you.
  • Make sure that you list your volunteer and other activities, again what kind of person are you?
  • The best way to be able to write a good resume is to actually be the kind of person that would have a good resume.  Being at Cornell, you are one of the brightest and most blessed people in this country/world.  Make sure that you give to people who are less fortunate than you, and care more about other people than yourself.  I know it can be easy to get caught up in “my life is so hard” but when that happens, take everything into perspective and you will realize that you really have it good.

Well that is all for now.  I’ll write a bunch more to get you caught up on some more lessons learned.  Take care.

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