Year-Long Commitment

Not unlike the commitment it takes to be truly successful in selling seed, we’ve made a commitment to cover the topic of “Seed and the Retailer” throughout the year. And in preparing for future stories we’ll be publishing, I’ve been talking to a lot of really smart people about the seed business, and how they are managing to build their businesses with growers by adding seed to the list of services they provide.

One of these smart people is Roy Berrey, who manages the seed division of Pearl City Elevator in northern Illinois. When I talked to him last month, his mind was already thinking about the 2009 seed selling season.

“We talk to growers all season long,” says Berrey. “There’s almost never a time when we don’t learn something from a conversation we have with a grower.”

With planting wrapping up, the talk turns to agronomic practices and the rising prices of inputs. Growers are willing to do more to get higher yields, he says. With the price of everything rising so fast, $5 corn might not be enough to pay the bills if yield doesn’t reach full potential.

That’s one of the biggest positives about seed — conversation. When you’re the guy behind the seed placement, you have a place on the grower-customer’s farm all season long, not just when the weeds and bugs come.

Talk also revolves around the test plots that Berrey and his team have helped set up with growers. Each season, based on the grower’s needs, they select and test hybrids and varieties in side-by-side trials to allow growers to see for themselves how they perform under the growers’ agronomic regimen.

Simultaneously, Pearl City maintains its own test plots that trial different agronomic practices for new hybrids and varieties. Growers are invited to come out and view the test plots themselves at coordinated field days, or — in some cases — private tours for top customers. More conversations, and more potential business opportunities. This year’s hot topics were seed treatments for soybeans and soybean planting depth — Berrey says that research is showing that consistent seed depth in beans, resulting in a more even stand — is revealing itself to be an important factor in yield.

When harvest time comes around, there’s more conversations about the plots, the yield monitor data, and locking in early orders, especially when it comes to traits. High demand for trait technology and best performing varieties means that locking in early is more important than ever, something else to talk to growers about.

That’s really the best part, and the worst part about the seed business. The highly successful retailers selling seed need to be speaking with growers literally all year long, and that means a serious time commitment. On the other hand, the only way to increase the business you do with your growers is by talking to them.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Industry NewsBRANDT’s Haschemeyer Promoted To Division-Wide Leadersh…
October 13, 2015
Brian Haschemeyer has been promoted to Manager of Chemistry and Laboratory Services for BRANDT’s Specialty Formulations division. This new role Read More
Beck Ag Company of the Year
Industry NewsBeck Ag Honored As Company Of The Year
October 13, 2015
Beck Ag was honored recently as Company of the Year at the Women in Agribusiness Summit in Minneapolis. Beck Ag Read More
Fall Harvest
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases Eight Regional Seed Companies
October 12, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has announced the purchase of eight regional seed companies to advance its seed business. Pinnacle has acquired: Read More
soybean field
Eric SfiligojThe Need For Transparency From Today’s Agriculture
October 12, 2015
There’s little denying a war of sorts is currently being waged against agriculture by portions of the general public. How Read More
Heated Tank from Heartland Tank Services
EquipmentWeathering Liquid Storage Challenges
October 10, 2015
As reported in CropLife’s® second annual Facilities Report in July, large-scale plant builds and upgrades continue strong. But dealers and Read More
Golden Harvest Corn healthy leaves
Paul SchrimpfBuilding Relationships With Farmers During Tough Times
October 9, 2015
“So, other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” Most of you I’m sure will recognize this as one Read More
Industry NewsResponsibleAg Selects New Executive Director
October 9, 2015
The ResponsibleAg Board of Directors today announced the selection of Bill Qualls, CPEA, as the organization’s new Executive Director. “We Read More
MRM Agricultural Service
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires CropLife 100 Ag Retailer
October 8, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has successfully acquired the Missouri-based agronomy business of MRM Agricultural Service, LLC and its affiliates (MRM). Operating Read More
HerbicidesMarestail, Hemlock Focus Of Fall Herbicide Application …
October 8, 2015
With the grain harvest progressing on or ahead of schedule in most parts of Indiana, no-till producers should start thinking Read More
Prairieland FS employees
EmployeesA New Approach To Employee Retention — Part 1
October 8, 2015
Editor’s: This is part 1 of a two-part series on employee retention by Mark Waschek of Ag1Source, the largest agricultural Read More
Crop InputsNew Bionematicide Meets Large Market Need
October 8, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Industry NewsTessenderlo Kerley Completes New California Manufacturi…
October 8, 2015
Crop Vitality, a business unit of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. (TKI), the North American subsidiary of Brussels-based Tessenderlo Group, and the Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
HerbicidesNew DuPont Herbicide Gives Updated Burndown Options For…
October 8, 2015
Soybean growers seeking flexible, effective broadleaf weed control have another option to add to their toolboxes. DuPont Canopy Blend herbicide Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces New API Linking Operations Center With …
October 8, 2015
Deere & Co. and DN2K have agreed to form SageInsights — a joint venture to initially serve the agriculture industry Read More
Crop InputsDuPont, Caribou Biosciences Form Strategic Alliance
October 8, 2015
DuPont and Caribou Biosciences, a leading developer of CRISPR-Cas technologies for genome editing, jointly announced a strategic alliance. As part Read More
ManagementStoller Field Trip and Upcoming Events
October 8, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss a recent Stoller Field Day, the 2015 PACE Council Meeting and another event Read More
EmployeesSyngenta First Agriculture Company To Receive Fair Labo…
October 8, 2015
Syngenta has announced that it has become the first agriculture company to receive accreditation from the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Read More
Eric Jenks, Wilbur-Ellis
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Opens Dry Fertilizer Storage And Blending …
October 8, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co., ranked No. 4 on the CropLife 100, has constructed and opened a 22,000-ton dry fertilizer storage and blending Read More