Farming 101: Are farmers forced by Big Ag and Monsanto to plant seeds they don’t want to?

For years now, there has been a myth going around the internet about how farmers seed options have been growing smaller and smaller to the point where they are basically forced by seed companies to plant a certain variety in a monocropping style production method.  This myth is most likely rooted in the fact that farmers who want to use the “latest and greatest” corn hybrids or soybean varieties must sign a contract (discussed here) with the respective seed company agreeing not to reuse the harvested grain as seed for the following year.


The fact is this myth simply isn’t true.   Today there are quite a few seed companies out there that offer countless options for farmers to pick from.  The three most well known seed companies are Monsanto which has the Dekalb, Asgrow, Channel and other brands.   Syngenta Seeds providing the Golden Harvest and NK brands. And DuPont with the Pioneer brand.  Others include smaller privately held seed companies like Wyffels, Becks and Burrus Seeds.

FACT: Farmers have the choice to purchase seed from whatever brand they want to as well as the choice to purchase whatever seeds they want to from that company.   In fact, based on what I have seen in many farmers sheds this spring (and for years prior) many farmers choose to diversify and buy a few bags of seed from 3-4 companies on average.  You can learn more about how farmers choose what seeds to plant by clicking here.

Here are 17+7 reasons why this myth is 100% busted.  
Every year we conduct seed trials on our farm comparing the yield potential of various seeds and brands.  As in years past we go above and beyond what is considered a normal size seed trial which is usually 4 rows wide and 500′ long.

For 2015 our main “Potential To Yield” (P2Y) seed trial consists of 17 corn hybrids from 7 different Seed brands including everything from the big Monsanto brands to the little guy, Wyffels Hybrids Brand.  Each corn hybrid will be planted 32 rows wide and 1/2 mile long and will provide ourselves and other farmers with quality yield data after harvest is completed this fall.  That data will then help farmers choose which seeds may be best to plant on their farms in 2016!

For more information on our “Potential To Yield” (P2Y) seed trials visit our web site Potential Ag.

Have a comment or question?  Feel free to post a comment below.

I look forward to discussing your concerns with you!

Thank you and have a Great Day!

Experience #plant14 via a #GoPro!

On a normal spring day your driving down the highway out in the country, enjoying the scenery of farmstead after farmstead and fields that seem to have no end in sight.  Along the way, you see some dust flying just ahead and begin to wonder what it is.  As you drive closer you notice a farmer in his fields with his tractor and planter, planting perfectly straight row after perfectly straight row.  You begin to wonder what it would be like to be in the fields with him/her, planting the seeds of the future, risking so much just to put his/her future in the unpredictable hands of Mother Nature.  Well, now you have the chance to experience just that!

 

Our Plating Tractor with a GoPro Mounted to the Fender

Our Plating Tractor with a GoPro Mounted to the Fender

While planting our first 100 acres, I took out my GoPro and began to make a video showing what its like to be in the fields, planting corn, as well as some close up shots showing how the planter operates.  Check it out by visiting our farms YouTube Channel (BoucherFarmsIL) or by clicking here > Planting Corn 4/25/14.

#plant14 begins!

#plant14 begins!

 

A few weeks ago I posted about how farmers use GPS and VRT technology to plant more efficiently, which can be viewed by clicking here and This past week, we began to use that technology when we began #plant14 on the farm.  So far we have 180 acres of corn planted and are hoping for some nice warm weather to help it get off to a great start.

Close up of the Row Cleaners at work

 

I highly encourage you to follow the #plant14 hashtag on twitter and facebook.  Thousands of farmers from across the nation and beyond are posting their experiences this planting season using that category.  I hope to see you there!

Thank you and God Bless!

 

 

 

Friday Farm Flicks 4/27/12

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Seed beans sitting in the shed. We are currently waiting for some warmer weather and a nice rain before we put these seeds in the ground.

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Our biggest surprise of the week. About 28 days ago this Hen took over our Malard Duck's nest of a few eggs and decided to hatch them on her own. She recently hatched these 4 Mallard Ducklings.

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Our first Iris bloom of the season

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A flower I can't kill!! This beautiful creation and others, made 100% from metal was created by Metals By Marla. Marla has made many creations, from Football team signs to life-size stalks of corn and everything in between. She even makes 100% custom designs. Check her out at http://www.metalsbymarla.com

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Our newly designed seed tender. We mounted a seed conveyor on the side of our wagon, which will store seed beans untill its time to plant them. A hitch on the back of the planter allows me to tow the wagon to and from the field where I can load the planter with seed.

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Loading our seed tender wagon with Soybean Seed for the first time in 2012. We arent planting yet, but are getting everything ready to go.

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Seed beans inside our seed tender wagon. Yes, Soybeans are actually Yellow, however most Soybean Seed comes with a Crop Protectant applied to it to help give it a great start when planted. The blue color comes from a dye mixed in with the seed treatment.

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Soybean seed emptying from the seed box and filling our Seed tender. Each box contains enough seed to be planted over 50 acres.

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This is our sprayer tender (nurse tanks). I am currently redesigning this tender to make it more efficient. In this pic it's currently under construction, by next weeks Friday Farm Flicks, it will hopefully be done.

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A great sunset is developing!

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Sitting idle, waiting for some warmer weather and rain to put moisture back in the ground before we begin planting soybeans.

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Our first field of field corn (planted over a week ago) is beginning to emerge.

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My little mans School Project. The goal was to make something, anything, out of 100% recycled materials. He wanted to make a Robot. A pizza box, 7 water bottles, a milk jug, a paper towel roll and a MC'ds drink holder later, we have a new life-size Robot complete with a bobble head and hat and he can stand on his own!

Farming Truly a way of Life. Thanks to Ranch House Designs for this pic.

Yesterday, the Department of Labor backed down from creating legislation which would regulate what a Child (under 18) both could and couldn't do on their own and other Family Farms. If the DOL would have proceeded and passed the new regulations, a person under 16-18 years old would not be legally allowed to do even basic chores around their own farm. The DOL found much opposition on many fronts to their proposal and backed down yesterday.

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This field was planted over a week ago. If you look closely you can see the Corn starting to emerge.

This week has proven to be an interesting one here at Boucher Farms.  New life has arrived in the form of Ducklings and Corn alike, proving Spring brings a new beginning.  Thank you for stopping by Off the Cobb and God Bless!

Matt