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
Greenleaf Technologies TADF03-D Dual Fan Nozzle
NozzlesSix Greenleaf Nozzles Approved For XtendiMax With Vapor…
February 22, 2017
Greenleaf Technologies has announced that six of its TurboDrop D Series nozzles have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Hires Manitoba And Eastern Canada Account Man…
February 22, 2017
Tiger-Sul, a global leader in sulphur fertilizers and crop performance products, has announced that sales veteran Trevor Loewen has joined Read More
NFMS 17 Hagie Sprayer
Eric SfiligojThe Read From Louisville: Uncertain
February 22, 2017
By the time this column appears across the country, the annual Commodity Classic will be in full swing. This means Read More
SprayersApache 1000 Series Sprayer Earns 2017 EquipmentWatch Hi…
February 21, 2017
ET Works has been named a winner in the 2017 EquipmentWatch Highest Retained Value Awards program, the industry’s only award Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
NL5000 With G5 Technology
SpreadersNew Leader Introduces NL5000 Dry Nutrient Applicator Wi…
February 13, 2017
New Leader, a division of Highway Equipment Company (HECO), has announced the next generation of spreading technology with the NL5000 Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Agrees To Credit Agreement Amendme…
February 9, 2017
Pinnacle Operating Corp. has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to its First Lien Credit Agreement that will provide for, Read More
ManagementUpdates on Upcoming Trips, Dow-DuPont, and the Des Moin…
February 9, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review a few future travels, along with the latest on big company mergers and Read More
Championship Tractor Pull
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Highlighted By Championshi…
February 9, 2017
The scream of monster engines, the stench of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and Read More