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

Thunder Seed Grower and dealer
Seed/BiotechSeed Decisions: Balancing Price And Performance
November 1, 2016
Even a cursory glance at headlines covering the seed industry these days could move a reader to an “OMG!” moment. Read More
Soybean field
Crop InputsIncotec Invests In North America
October 25, 2016
Leading seed enhancement company Incotec, part of Croda, has announced an investment in their North America business. The total investment of Read More
Nufarm Seed Treatment lab formulations
Seed/BiotechNew Lab, Company Realignment Strengthen Nufarm’s Position To Serve Seed Treatment Market
October 6, 2016
As part of its “One Nufarm” strategy, Nufarm is realigning and uniting resources to further enhance the focus on its Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer, West Central Distribution Introduce Fungicde Seed Treatment For Soybeans
October 6, 2016
Bayer and West Central Distribution are introducing a new combination fungicide treatment for soybean plants, Redigo 480 + Trilex, to Read More
Trending Articles
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsanto Merger
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
STS16 2017
SprayersHagie Manufacturing Releases 2017 STS16 Sprayer To Market
November 16, 2016
Hagie Manufacturing LLC’s largest full season applicator is now available with enhancements for the 2017 model year. Hagie is officially Read More
Wilco
CropLife 100Valley Agronomics, Wilco-Winfield To Form New Agronomy Joint Venture
November 11, 2016
Valley Agronomics LLC, headquartered in Rupert, ID, is a joint venture between Valley Wide Cooperative and Winfield Solutions, LLC. Wilco-Winfield, Read More
Latest News
HerbicidesHerbicides 2017: New Cropping Systems Set For Debut
December 7, 2016
Herbicide-resistant weed are inching ever-closer to a potentially frightening saturation point here in the U.S. Heading into 2016, USDA planting Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
December 7, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
Fertilizer storage The Andersons
CropLife 1002016 Fertilizer Report: Another Really Rough Year For A…
December 7, 2016
In many ways, the fertilizer category cannot seem to catch a break. During the early part of the 2010s decade, Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Winter wheat
HerbicidesTalinor Herbicide Approved For Wheat And Barley
December 7, 2016
Talinor herbicide from Syngenta has received federal registration from the U.S. EPA, giving wheat and barley growers a new option Read More
Forage Sorghum
UncategorizedMilestone Achievement Continues For Dow AgroSciences, A…
December 7, 2016
New and innovative forage products are on the horizon driven by continued collaboration between Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesNew WSSA Factsheet Explores Weed Seeds And Their Longev…
December 7, 2016
Did you know some weed seeds can lie dormant in the soil for more than a century and then sprout Read More
Crop InputsARA 2016: 5 Developments Worth Monitoring Into 2017
December 6, 2016
You can pretty much set your watch to it (do people even still wear watches? I know I do…but I’m Read More
Tim McCardle, ARA Chairman
CropLife 100BRANDT COO Named ARA Chairman
December 5, 2016
BRANDT EVP and Chief Operating Officer Tim McArdle has been named chairman of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) during a Read More
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Receives ResponsibleAg Certification At Mo…
December 5, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis Co., a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution of crop protection products, announces the ResponsibleAg certification Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Eric SfiligojThe Read On 2017 For Agricultural Fortunes Is Anybody’s…
December 5, 2016
As I (and others) have written in recent months, the nation has just experienced one of the most offbeat election Read More
Acceleron B-300 seed coating
Crop InputsThe BioAg Alliance Launches New Yield-Boosting Microbia…
December 5, 2016
As part of their commitment to develop and commercialize innovative microbial solutions for farmers through The BioAg Alliance, Monsanto Co. Read More
ManagementCorn and soy planting update; Takeaways from Climate Co…
December 2, 2016
AgriBusiness Global Editor Dave Frabotta Joins Paul Schrimpf for a discussion of global corn and soybean planting trends, and a Read More
Radish cover crop taproot
Crop InputsSoil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant To E…
December 1, 2016
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research have announced a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify the Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
ManagementAg Industry Comes Together To Address Climate Change
December 1, 2016
Addressing climate change — and more specifically, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture — can only be achieved through collective Read More
Young soybean field
HerbicidesLiquid Formulation Valor EZ Herbicide Available For 201…
December 1, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has released Valor EZ; a liquid formulation of the company’s leading herbicide, Valor. Named Valor EZ Herbicide Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
ManagementThe Value Of Cooperatives In Modern Agriculture
December 1, 2016
Editor’s Note: Jaxon Mullinnix of  Lone Tree, IA, was recently named the Iowa state winner of the 2017 GROWMARK essay Read More