Seed: A Real Treatment

When Josh Peters of Peters Crop Solu­tions, Aplington, IA, looks ahead, what does he see for the future of the seed industry and ag retailers? More pressure at the dealer level to treat seed faster and with more precision.

Several factors are driving the increased demand for treating seed from grower-customers, including a shifting spectrum of plant diseases and insects, new seed-applied crop protection products, volatile commodity markets, and last-minute crop planning, says Peters. An ever-increasing percentage of growers are pushing their cropping plans until the last minute, which is putting pressure on dealers to provide more on-demand seed treatment capabilities for their customers rather than pre-ordering treated seed from seed companies.

Instead of resisting the changes in the industry, though, Peters is meeting the challenges head-on and banking on new seed treatment equipment technology that is just now coming off the factory floor.

Primarily treating soybeans for clients, Peters has made the move to upgrade to a newer, more computerized seed treater to help keep ahead of what he describes as a rapidly changing industry.

While his older seed treater shouldered his business’s growing demands over the three years he’s offered on-demand seed treatment, Peters is anticipating the challenges ahead to require still more precision, speed, and volume.

“As new technology comes out, we foresee that we’ll be putting a lot of different chemicals on seed for different customers,” he says. “The flexibility of applying different chemicals is where we’ll have to build into eventually.”

Until a few years ago, Peters’ customer base didn’t regularly plant treated soybeans. Now a significant percentage treat soybean seed, and the trend is up.

“Now we’re seeing where everybody’s treating their seed,” says Peters, who upgraded to a new Gustafson RH-2000 machine for the upcoming 2010 season.

While that gradual shift to treating seed at the dealer level has created another revenue stream for Peters Crop Solutions, it has also been a great help in giving Peters’ grower-customers more flexibility in their planting decisions. The new seed treater, he says, provides computer print-outs that immediately show the grower the chemical that has been applied, as well as the rate.

Customer Flexibility

The idea of giving customers even more flexibility with seed treatment prompted Jeramy Slade, branch manager for Agriliance in Jonesville, LA, to also invest in a new seed treater. 

Slade says that after making the move to invest in a new seed treatment machine in March 2009, the dealership has created a whole new revenue stream by adding another valuable service for customers that saves growers time during the planting season.

“There’s just a lot of profit dollars in treating seed yourself instead of going to the seed company and waiting for it to get back,” says Slade, who says cotton and soybeans are the most popular seeds treated at their location. Corn and wheat are also treated at the facility. 

“In the past, you had to ship it to another location to get it treated,” he adds. “That took lots of time and fuel.”

By bringing the seed treatment activities closer to the grower at the dealer level, local growers now have the advantage of treating seed at a moment’s notice before heading into the field — giving them the luxury of time during a hectic planting season.

“Growers call me last minute before they head into the field and I’ll have their seed ready and treated before they get here,” Slade says.

Treating seed on-site opened the door to two avenues of profit for the dealership: One through the service itself and another through crop protection sales. Having a seed treater on-site also has the added benefit of fascinating customers, Slade says.

“A few [customers] come up and watch us treat the seed,” he says. “They seem pretty amazed with it.” 

Slade, who treats seed with a Gustafson RH-24, has seen a noticeable trend in the industry of treating seed on-site rather than pre-ordering from seed companies as other businesses adopt newer technology to become more competitive.

Gustafson, one of the largest brands of seed treatment equipment, reports that sales among small- and medium-sized dealers has grown substantially in recent years, attributing most of the growth to seed dealerships as they pursue revenue beyond seed sales.

More Profitable

Mark Belden, product manager with Gustafson brand equipment, Shakopee, MN, says high commodity prices have created more profitable opportunities at the dealer level as growers seek to protect their investment in seed with chemical treatment. Sales of the smaller-capacity treaters that handle 1,000 to 1,400 bushels per hour have held strong through 2009, he says, as smaller dealerships enter the seed treating market.

“As far as the product line, we’ve got everything from small treaters you can carry in your hand all the way to the huge commercial machines that handle 3,000 bushels per hour,” he says.

Dealers are also looking to expand beyond the corn market that has traditionally dominated the market, Belden adds. With the corn seed treating market nearly saturated, dealers now looking into other crops that have received less attention in the past. “The increase [in sales of seed treaters] has been the most acute in soybeans and wheat,” he says.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Seed/Biotech Stories

Seed/BiotechWater Optimized Seed Flowing Freely
April 1, 2014
As the demand for ag to diminish its water use while maintaining high yields and crop quality increases, three companies are leading the movement to grow more with less water. Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer Applies For Seed Treatment That Protects Against Sudden Death Syndrome
February 26, 2014
If approved, ILeVO seed treatment would be the first product to provide breakthrough protection for soybean seedlings from the soil borne pathogen Fusarium virguliforme, the fungus that causes SDS. Read More
Seed/BiotechSeed Still Central
November 1, 2013
Advancing genetics continue to make seed the crop variable that calls the shots for the season. Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer CropScience, Northstar Agri Industries Launch New Canola Hybrid
October 16, 2013
Northstar Agri Industries and Bayer CropScience have announced the addition of the InVigor L252 hybrid to the Northstar Star Growers High Oil Contract. Read More

Trending Articles

Retail FacilitiesWaconia Manufacturing Builds Facility Designed For Speed, Efficiency
July 7, 2014
To make its new hub facility more efficient, Cooperative Elevator enlisted the aid of Waconia Manufacturing. Read More
EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More
EquipmentGPS: 25 Years And Still Growing
June 2, 2014
The evolution of global positioning systems applications in agriculture remains ongoing as the technology hits a notable milestone. Read More

Latest News

Precision AgFarmers Learn How Changing World Will Impact Iowa
July 24, 2014
Technology and understanding global consumer demand for Iowa farm products brought hundreds of farmers and agribusiness leaders to Ames recently for the annual Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Economic Summit. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue: Late Season Weeds May Require Manual Removal
July 24, 2014
Hand-rouging and pulling late season weeds by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says. Read More
Soybean Field
InsecticidesTranform WG, Closer SC Insecticides Receive R&D 100…
July 23, 2014
Dow AgroSciences has received the award from R&D Magazine for Transform WG insecticide and Closer SC insecticide with Isoclast active. Read More
EquipmentKinze, Raven Team Up On 4900 Planter Monitor
July 23, 2014
Kinze Manufacturing announces a partnership with Raven Industries to develop a standalone monitor solution for the Kinze 4900 series planter. With this new Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Continues To Confuse As Growers Await USD…
July 23, 2014
The new five-year Farm Bill eliminates many of the direct payments previously payed to growers and could benefit from USDA clarification, reports a Toledo Blade columnist. Read More
EquipmentPrecisionAg.com Relaunches With Responsive Design For M…
July 22, 2014
PrecisionAg, the worldwide leader in precision agriculture information and analysis, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, PrecisionAg.com. Read More
FungicidesEPA OKs Two Willowood Fungicides
July 21, 2014
The EPA has approved Willowood Azoxy 2SC and Willowood AzoxyProp Xtra. two widely used broad spectrum, preventative fungicides with systemic and curative properties. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learning Fast As UAVs Take Off
July 17, 2014
Farmers and others interested in how UAVs can be used in agricultural applications were able to learn more about the technology during the recent Precision Aerial Ag Show. Read More
CropLife 100Bobby Knight, Richard Petty To Highlight Ag PhD Field D…
July 17, 2014
Attendees at the July 24 Ag PhD Field Day at Hefty Farms will learn about the latest agricultural technologies, and get a chance to meet legendary sports figures Bobby Knight and Richard Petty. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
July 17, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
A finished Willmar 16-ton side-shooting tender.
TendersNew Production Facility Helps Willmar
July 17, 2014
In 1963, a group of businessmen started Willmar. Today, a half-century later, the company is one of the ag industry’s longest-running brands. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Sells Carbon Credits To Chevrolet, Donate…
July 17, 2014
CF Industries has completed the sale of a large block of carbon reduction credits to Chevrolet, and will donate the net proceeds of $600,000 to the National FFA Foundation. Read More
CropLife 100Grainland Cooperative, Minier Cooperative Grain To Merg…
July 17, 2014
The shareholders of Grainland Cooperative and Minier Cooperative Grain Co. approved a merger of company operations effective August 1, 2014. Read More
ManagementStudy: Drought Costing California Billions
July 17, 2014
A new study has found the drought has cost the state $2.2 billion, primarily in lost farm revenue and wages. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Resumes Production At Oklahoma Nitrogen C…
July 17, 2014
The company had shut down production at the Woodward, OK, facility in April to address an issue in one of the site’s boilers. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis To Relocate Agribusiness Division To Denve…
July 16, 2014
The move Eastward will allow Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division to be more accessible to relevant geographies and is expected to enhance communication and collaboration among the division’s nearly 3,000 employees. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybe…
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Drive To Thrive 10 Finalists Announced
July 15, 2014
Finalists are chosen based on the quality of their essays and photos depicting what makes them thrive. Read More