Seed Could Soar

Soybean Seed

As market conditions and input costs evolve for the 2011 season, both dealers and seed companies feel there is reason for optimism. “The corn market is strong, the cost of inputs has been reasonable, and I think growers in Illinois have a tremendous opportunity,” says Tim McArdle, executive vice president, Brandt Consolidated Inc., Springfield, IL. For example, he is seeing better seed prices. “Seed corn prices were a little bit flatter this past season, and it appears that in most cases, most of the major vendors have actually decreased the price on some of their products for the coming year.”

Truly that’s good news for retailers who may wrestle every year with grower complaints about rising seed costs. “We always have price trouble,” says Scot Sparks, seed division manager at Hintzsche Fertilizer, Maple Park, IL. “I remember when we used to raise seed prices $1 a year, and it was like you were trying to take their first-born child away. But growers are willing to go on the trip with you when you describe what the hybrid can do, what these traits will help with, and why they should put it in this field.”

McArdle points out that “as you get more and more of the crop protection benefits in the seed, that costs more. But if you compare that to the purchase of the crop protection, it’s pretty much a wash.”

He would call putting any “ceiling” on the price growers are willing to pay strictly hypothetical. “But what is not hypothetical is the value paid for value received,” he says, especially as seed companies come out with more powerful traits that provide better control, new types of control, or output traits such as drought tolerance or nutrition enhancement. “If the performance is there, the yield potential is there, then the grower is going to be willing to pay for that as long as it is a reasonable amount,” he says.

Tailoring Seed Advice

In seed there are plenty of changes each year, with new varieties and traits to track. Brandt spends a great deal of time educating its people on these releases and counts on its sales force to then meet with growers one on one to explain them.

Craig Page, agronomy manager at Husker Coop, Columbus, NE, also believes this individual attention is key. “We try very hard to put the right hybrid on the right acre,” he says, and feels his team has been able to do that well. “We’ve been able to sell the value of traits because these are things that keep our growers profitable.”

To aid seed sales, Husker has offered a few buyer incentive programs tied to the company’s site-specific program, which includes grid sampling and VRT applications.

The coop has found its seed recommendation services one of its most “underutilized assets” says Clete Kam­rath, agronomist. He feels personal customer contact is especially important if growers may simply be relying on trial plot data for decision-making. Plot-winning hybrids are not always the best fit in every grower’s acres, and it’s very important to match soil types and fertility with hybrids, he says.

Brandt has added another sales tool for the coming season. The company manages many seed plots each year, creating lots of community data to draw from in making buying recommendations. For 2011 staff have drawn all this performance data together and created a Community Seed Trials section on the Brandt Web site. Users simply click on a trial location and see the performance data for all seed planted there.

Seed Companies’ Take

Seed companies are excited about what they have to offer for 2011. (And they are making available data on how well their traited hybrids/varieties did in the 2010 season, especially in comparison to competitors’ products.)

Monsanto‘s Mike Stern, vice president of U.S. commercial row crops, says the company is offering retailers a corn and soybean portfolio designed to address farmers’ specific agronomic needs and deliver value in their region. In fact, in recent concentrated efforts to get seed feedback from customers, Monsanto found that growers want more trait and germplasm options across all geographies. “We took their comments to heart as we priced and delivered more options in our seeds and traits,” says Stern. “So far, response to our 2011 pricing and product approach has been very positive.”

Specifically, Monsanto is expanding hybrids in the Genuity SmartStax, Genuity VT Triple PRO, and Genuity VT Double PRO lines. In soybeans, growers also have more varieties to choose from (especially in the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield line) as well as have the choice of whether or not to treat their soybeans with Acceleron seed treatment products.

Mycogen will be doubling the number of its SmartStax corn hybrids available — hybrids Chris Garvey, general manager of Mycogen Seeds, says bring the broadest spectrum of insect protection, 5% reduced refuge in the Corn Belt, and the latest genetics. In soybeans, the company will be focusing on its Roundup Ready 2 Yield line.

In answer to concerns about pricing, Garvey points to the company’s tools for dealers, including early prepayment options, grower financing through Rabo AgriFinance, and its Grower Rewards program.

Syngenta Seeds has introduced 140 new corn hybrids, including 41 featuring the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack — which combines the Agrisure Viptera trait with the Agrisure 3000GT triple stack. Eric Boersma, corn portfolio manager, reports it not only controls 14 pests but also improves grain quality. “With the breadth of our expanded corn portolio, growers will be able to find the hybrids they’re seeking to thrive in their fields and maximize yields,” he says.

Syngenta will also be selling all NK brand soybeans in EZ-Count 140,000 seed units rather than 50-pound units. The approach offers growers a more accurate, convenient, and equitable way to order seed, says the company.

All the seed companies we talked with are committed to providing assistance when needed this season.

“Mycogen Seeds continues to provide retailer support with local, experienced seed partners to help identify prospects and position products with customers,” says Garvey. The company also recently revised its website, making it easier to find important product and contact information.

In June, Monsanto published its “DeKalb and Asgrow Seed Resource Guide” for 2011. The company provides season-long support in the form of local expertise via its territory agronomists; in-field product training at Genuity Technology Showcases; Knowledge Transfer brochures and Technology Bulletins (for current agronomic conditions that can affect crops); and third-party conference calls that provide up-to-date information on topics ranging from insect pressure to ways to help maximize yield.

At harvest the company strives to make available hybrid and variety results in specific geographies as well as across the U.S. — all historically posted on www.dekalbandasgrow.com.

Leave a Reply

Seed/Biotech Stories

Seed/BiotechSyngenta Delivers Two New Winter Wheat Varieties To Eastern Corn Belt
August 6, 2014
Adding to its portfolio of AgriPro brand wheat varieties, Syngenta introduces SY 007 and SY 474 soft red winter wheat varieties. Read More
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

Trending Articles

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More

Latest News

FertilizerFertilizer Outlook And Technology Conference Set For No…
September 30, 2014
Conference participants can expect to gain perspective on the outlook for agriculture and major fertilizer materials and inputs from industry experts. Read More
MicronutrientsVerdesian Acquires Micronutrient Supplier
September 30, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has acquired QC Corp., a producer and supplier of granular and dry micronutrients and ferrous sulfate products. Read More
Eric SfiligojHearing From Young Ag Voices
September 30, 2014
Potential future leaders in ag retail had the chance to shine at the recent Mid America CropLife Association meeting. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
September 30, 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
Crop InputsSyngenta Appoints New Chief Operating Officer
September 29, 2014
Jon Parr will succeed retiring COO John Atkin at the end of the year. Read More
CropLife 100South Dakota Wheat Growers To Add Grain-Agronomy Facili…
September 26, 2014
Planned to be constructed in Kennebec, the facility will be located along the soon-to-be rehabilitated line of heavy-rail service from Chamberlain to Presho. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Vice President Appointments
September 25, 2014
Two individuals have been appointed Vice President positions on the GROWMARK executive team. Read More
FertilizerFertilizer Industry Organizations Join Global Alliance …
September 25, 2014
The Fertilizer Institute, the International Plant Nutrition Institute and the International Fertilizer Industry Association are encouraging the industry to promote the proper use of fertilizer products to minimize their environmental impact. Read More
Precision AgARA Organized Precision Forum Hits Capitol Hill
September 24, 2014
The Coalition for the Advancement of Precision Agriculture (CAPA) hosted its inaugural Precision Ag Forum, Sept. 18, in Washington, D.C. Read More
FertilizerFactors To Consider When Placing Fertilizer With Seed
September 24, 2014
The type of crop, fertilizer source, row spacing and soil environment all affect how much fertilizer can be safely applied with seed. Read More
FertilizerSidedressing Manure Into Corn Has Promising Results
September 24, 2014
Applying manure to growing crops can boost yields, reduce nutrient losses and give livestock producers another window of time to apply manure to farm fields. Read More
FertilizerWhen To Sample Manure For Analysis
September 24, 2014
Because the goal is to collect a sample that represents the manure actually being applied, the best time to sample is during loading or field application. Here's why. Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Faces Second Lawsuit Over Agrisure Viptera Cor…
September 23, 2014
A second company has sued Syngenta AG over sales of genetically modified corn seed not approved by China. Read More
StewardshipCover Crops Field Guide For Farmers Expanded
September 23, 2014
Farmers interested in planting cover crops to improve soil health now have an updated and expanded resource in the second edition of the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide. Read More
HerbicidesArysta LifeScience Launches Contest For Wheat Growers
September 23, 2014
The Flush after Flush Photo Finish contest encourages farmers across the U.S. to participate through Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #FlushAfterFlush. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Confirms Merger Of Equals Discussions Wit…
September 23, 2014
CF Industries Holdings, Inc. has confirmed that it is in preliminary discussions with Yara International regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
StewardshipProgram To Examine Ag-Related Practices, Policies To Pr…
September 22, 2014
A panel discussion on October 14 will include a significant discussion on key issues and solutions related to all aspects of harmful algal blooms. Read More
Eric SfiligojIt’s Product Of The Year Voting Season
September 22, 2014
Readers of CropLife IRON will choose 2014’s best new product over the next month. Read More