Ask These 5 Questions Before Buying Seed This Year
Buying seed for next season can be a tricky process. You have to weigh performance and price for a particular hybrid or variety to make strong ROI-based decisions for your operation, but all too often you lack access to the data you need to make informed choices.
It’s important to get the answers you need when making a big investment like this on your farm. Here are five key questions you need to ask this year to make sure you’re buying seed with your bottom line in mind:
1. How does the seed performance potential compare to its price?
You can easily view best-case scenario plot trial data from manufacturers, but you need to know how the hybrid or variety actually performs in the real world across thousands of acres. Not all seeds are going to produce the same yields at the same planting population, so you’ll need to evaluate planting variables that are going to work best for the seeds you buy.
When farmers contribute data to FBN®, all farmers in the network benefit. With precision data, farmers are able to review yield performance, seed performance, and optimal seed placement. Ultimately, that data helps farmers make better decisions for their operation.*
2. How does this seed fit into your planting strategy?
Your farm and fields are unique, so you’ll want to buy seed that is well-suited to thrive on each unique acre of your operation. While it may make sense to plant one hybrid of corn on certain parts of your acreage, it may be best to plant a different hybrid on another field. Learning how seeds perform under conditions similar to yours can help you make the right seed-buying decisions.
3. Do the seeds include the protective traits you need?
Understanding the cost of traits alongside seed performance can help you optimize your seed selection for net revenue, rather than yield alone. Ask yourself if the expected increase in yield by planting seed with a particular trait technology will outweigh the potential cost increase of doing so.
Look for overall profit potential in your seed selection, which comes from a combination of high yields (through high-performing genetics as well as trait technology) and reasonable prices.
4. Do the seeds align agronomically with your farm management capabilities?
Do you have the equipment and resources required to successfully plant, maintain, and harvest the crops grown from the seeds you’ve selected? If not, you’ll want to consider adjusting your equipment and resourcing strategy for the upcoming season or purchasing alternative seed options.
5. Are you considering genetic diversity across your farm?
By ensuring genetic diversity, you’re reinforcing the long-term viability of crops across your operation and supporting their ability to adapt to changing conditions, in addition to supporting future trait development.
There’s a Better Way to Buy Seed
At Farmers Business Network®, we’re committed to putting Farmers First® and powering the prosperity of family farmers.
With the right tools in your hands and seed price and performance data contributed by thousands of farmers, you won’t have to keep buying seed the same way. Here are a few ways to get started selecting your seed for next season:
Check out the seeds available to buy now on FBN Direct® with a full portfolio that includes traited and conventional corn, Enlist E3® traited soybeans, sorghum and hybrid rye at FBN.com/Seed.
Try out the new FBN Flex Pick, which enables you to lock in early discounts without having to select specific hybrids or varieties upfront. Without having to commit upfront, you get more time to decide on the right seed for your operation and consult with the FBN team to find the perfect product fit.
* This is an updated post originally published in 2019 with new content written by Brad Roberts on September 20, 2022.
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FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply.
Information and insights provided by FBN are based on submissions from FBN members and in certain cases other third-party information, and its availability and accuracy is not guaranteed
*Information and data may not be available for all seed products including some seed products distributed by FBN.