Production Blog

Six Tips for Working With Seed Dealers

Gregg Hillyer
By  Gregg Hillyer , Progressive Farmer Editor-in-Chief
It's time to begin sorting through the new offerings from seed companies. Signs of things to come and advice on how to work with seed dealers is just part of a special package of stories from DTN and Progressive Farmer. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

Of all the crop inputs farmers purchase, most would agree seed is the most critical. The success of every growing season starts with the hybrids and varieties that fill the planter or drill. Achieving optimum yields on every acre is always the goal, even more so now with the economic headwinds affecting agriculture.

Seed companies have already started their sales pitches, meeting with farmer-customers about the latest hybrids and varieties, traits and prices. In coming days we'll feature a series of articles intended to provide you with insights and information on everything from new seed releases to agronomic advice on production practices to boost performance across every field.

We launch the series today with a look at how the role of the seed dealer has evolved to become a trusted adviser that helps place product on each acre. Read "Seed Selection Decisions - 1" at….

Here are six tips to get the most from your seed dealers:

1. Don't be reluctant to let the seed dealer be a problem-solver. Look for dealers knowledgeable on agronomic principles and the latest weed, insect and disease threats to crops. They should also be well-versed in trait technology.

2. Maintain accurate field maps of where problems exist so they can custom-fit hybrids and varieties. Accurate data is essential for them to provide the proper recommendations and to have a good understanding of your fields and your management/production practices.

3. Ask what services they provide beyond selling seed (tissue testing, soil tests, etc.).

4. Think beyond traits. Defense mechanisms may not be included in the latest and greatest trait technology.

5. Realize they are selling something. Verify (if possible) results against independent testing.

6. Be sure they have a vested interest in your business. Your success is their success.

Gregg Hillyer can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @GreggHillyer


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