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Farmer Seed Companies Serve "Forgotten" Markets
Spectrum Premium Genetics
Scott Odle helped found Spectrum Premium Genetics, Linden, Ind., several years ago.
  “We’ve been told by the big companies that GMO’s are yield enhancing, but they’re not. They’re yield protecting,” says Odle, who still plants some GMO seed on his own farm. “If you don’t have corn rootworm and corn borer, why pay for the traits? If you’re using conventional insecticides and herbicides, why not use conventional corn for $40 to $60 less per acre?”
  Odle says Spectrum is doing what the big companies aren’t doing, investing in and promoting non-GMO corn hybrids. The company works with other seed corn companies, identifying top conventional lines and independent breeders.
  “For the little amount of breeding that has gone into the conventional market, they are still very competitive with GMO’s,” he says.
  Odle estimates that about 9 percent of the current seed corn market is planted to non-GMO hybrids. He predicts it will be 20 percent in 5 years. That growth will keep Spectrum growing as well.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Spectrum Premium Genetics, 220 S. Main St.,
 P.O. Box 7,
 Linden, Ind. 47955 (ph 866 400-9468; www.spectrumseed.com).
Legacy Seeds
  Bruce Ceranske helped found Legacy Seeds, Scandinavia, Wis., with varieties and hybrids selected for the northern two thirds of Wisconsin, Minnesota and upper Michigan.
  Ceranske says regional companies like Legacy offer customers more variety than the big seed companies. Legacy has the only independent alfalfa breeding program in the country and works with 6 or 7 different breeding programs in other crops. They select the most competitive products for the area and then test them in more than 100 test plots in the geographies where they will be sold.
  “We have 100 seed corn hybrids in the 95 day and under maturities,” says Ceranske. “The large companies are limited to their own breeding and may have half a dozen. They’ve walked away from a lot of these regional markets.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Legacy Seeds, Inc., 290 Depot St., P.O. Box 68, Scandinavia, Wis. 54977 (ph 715 467-2555; toll free 866 791-6390; www.legacyseeds.com).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #3