What You Pay for Seed Depends on Where You Live

Sally Krueger

Apr 18, 2017

The average price paid for big seed brands can be very different for farmers living in different states

If you're a farmer, you probably know that not everyone is paying the same price for any given brand of seed. Loyalty discounts, volume discounts, chemical bundles, rebates and a myriad of other factors can create price disparities between two farms. What you might not know is how much your average price can change simply because of where you live, mostly driven by a practice known as Zone Pricing.

Zone Pricing is system used by seed sellers that creates different prices for seed in different regions. Many states like Illinois and Iowa, have multiple pricing zones.  And farming in one zone vs. another can mean you pay completely different prices than other farmers nearby. 

In our recent report, The Voice of the Farmer , we shared exclusive Farmers Business Network data on how the average price paid by major seed brands varies by state.

The above chart shows the average price per bag of seed paid by farmers in 12 different states, with the two largest corn seed brands, Dekalb® and Pioneer® broken out. We have controlled the data for to account for price discounts given to large farms and separated the impact of trait and treatments.

Who Pays the Highest and Lowest Prices for Corn Seed?

In our research, farmers in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin are paying the highest prices for DeKalb® seed, with the average price per bag exceeding $300. Compare that to the average price paid for DeKalb® in South Dakota, around $230. That's an average seed price difference of $70/bag, or over $30/acre at a 35k/acre seeding rate.

Farmers in Mississippi and Iowa are paying the highest average prices for Pioneer®, with the average price per bag coming in near $280. North Dakota farmers are getting the best average price on Pioneer® brand seeds at around $210 per bag.

Dekalb is a registered trademark of the Monsanto Company. Pioneer is a registered trademark of Dupont, Pioneer, or their respective owners.

Sally Krueger

Apr 18, 2017