F2F Genetics Network in the Field: Q&A with Wisconsin Dairy Farmer Walker Rynes
Walker Rynes’ dairy farm has been in the family for about 30 years. They milk 640 cows, three times a day, and crop about 1,200 acres of corn and alfalfa that goes to feed the cows. This year, Walker decided to give a conventional hybrid from F2F Genetics NetworkTM a chance on their acres.
In farming, we’ve got to adapt. Otherwise, we get left behind. So this year, we decided to try some new things. In addition to our normal corn and alfalfa mix, we added some Brown MidRib sorghum-sudangrass to supplement our feed. And we decided to plant some conventional corn hybrids from F2F Genetics Network. We told a few folks, and they thought we were crazy. But the prices made it hard not to try!
When I crunch the numbers, comparing what we planted last year to what we planted this year, we saved roughly $70,000 on seed. That’s a lot of real money. It’s money we can put back into the farm.
You see, price-wise, we were at the mercy of the seed companies. So I knew something had to change. I knew we would have to make adjustments, like how we did our spraying, but it was possible. So we made the switch. I’m really impressed with how the corn looks, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Besides not being able to spray over the top with glyphosate, it’s still corn. It grows the same. It looks the same. It should all yield pretty much the same. Why not go for it?
We also trusted FBN with our chemical plan. It’s been a long time since anyone around here wasn’t using glyphosate on their corn, so once we bought the seed, we relied on our sales rep to help us decide what chemical plan was right for us. We also took advantage of a lot of generic products that FBN had available. I mean, if it’s the same thing with a lower cost, why not try?
We’re dairy farmers, so it’s different than row crop. I can be motivated by my seed price, because even if it yields a little less, the significantly lower price has already provided a return on my investment. Could I buy a hybrid that says it will give me more milk per cow? Yes. But I’ll pay a premium for that seed. So I’d rather save my money if the end results are going to be close.
Some seed companies talk about all their ratings or how their genetics are better, but at the end of the day, that’s all on a case-by-case basis. The performance of a big company’s seed might look better overall, but on your farm, there might be a smaller company’s product that performs just as well.
So choosing seed for us isn’t about any particular brand. It’s about something that works for us, from someone that we trust. And we trust FBN. We trust our seed rep, and we trust the data they have coming in from farmers all over the country. Knowing that FBN was showing us all that information helped me make my decision to grow F2F Genetics conventional corn.
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