Why Seed Quality is Important to Your Farming Operation

While gearing up for planting season, there are a million things running through our minds. Is the planter ready? Is my crop plan ready? Finally, is this corn going to make me money this year? In 2020, as with every year before, farmers are looking for ways to save on inputs while still maximizing yield. This article addresses three key questions focused on the importance of seed quality on your farming operation.

Q1 – What agronomic benefits does higher quality seed offer my operation?

High quality seed offers many benefits throughout the growing season:

  • Uniform Plant Stand
  • Better Early Season Vigor
  • Better Drought Tolerance
  • More Consistent Yield
  • Better Roots
  • Uniform Ear Size
  • Healthier Plants
  • Better Standability

These are benefits every farmer would like to see on their operation because they mean more plants, more ears, more kernels in your field, and finally, more bushels in your bins at the end of the growing season.

Q2 – What are the economic benefits of higher quality seed?

At Big Cob Hybrids, we pride ourselves on our seed quality standards and our MaxStand Guarantee.* Our seed quality standard is 95% warm germination – and we will NOT accept anything less. Industry standards are also 95% warm germination however they allow companies to accept anything above 93% warm germination and mark it up to 95% to reach industry standards. Results over three years show the Big Cob Hybrids’ warm germination results averaged 97.97%.

The MaxStand Guarantee* assures growers that if Big Cob Hybrids’ seed germination does not meet your standards, Big Cob Hybrids will replace the seed for replant at no cost to you.

It is often difficult to put an actual dollar amount on an opportunity, so let’s think this through using the chart below.

MaxStand Advantage Big Cob Hybrids Industry Standard
Germination 97.97% 95%
Plants per 1000 seeds 979.7 950
Bushels per 1000 plants 8 8
Seeding Rate 32,000 32,000
Actual Stand 31,150.4 30,400
Bushels per Acre 250.80 243.2
Acres per Bag 2.5 2.5
Net Income @ $3.20 $802.56 $778.24

That’s a  Savings Advantage of $24.32/Acre!

The Industry Standard is 95% germination (though companies may accept anything as low as 93%). For the sake of the example we will use 95% germination. At 95% germination, if a grower plants 32,000 seeds per acre, the final stand will be 30,400. If we can expect 8 bushels per 1000 plants, that would leave us with 243.2 bushels per acre. At $3.20 per bushel, we could expect net income to be $778.24.

Big Cob Hybrids sets a higher standard for seed quality. Big Cob’s average warm germination results over three years is 97.97%. If a grower plants 32,000 seeds per acre at 97.97% germination, the final stand will be 31,350.4 plants per acre. Under the assumption we can gain 8 bushels per 1000 plants that would leave us with 250.8 bushels per acre. At commodity price of $3.20, net income would be $802.56. The difference amounts to $24.32 per acre. That’s potential income of $24,320 over 1,000 acres!

Q3 – Why are germination test results so important?

As a grower, germination test results can help you make important management decisions. Big Cob Hybrids runs the following tests in order to ensure high quality seed and our MaxStand Guarantee*:

  • Warm Germination Tests – This germination test is conducted at 77⁰F for seven days.
  • Cold Germination Tests – This 11-day germination test is conducted at 50⁰F for seven days, then the temperature is raised to 77⁰F for four days.
  • Super Cold Germination Test – This 11-day germination test is conducted at 41⁰F for seven days, then the temperature is raised to 77⁰F for four days.
  • Trait Purity Testing – Biotech traits, including traits conferring insect resistance and herbicide tolerance, which is prevalent in corn. The presence and purity of these traits must be confirmed in any quality assurance program for seed producers.1
  • Genetic Purity Testing — Genetic purity refers to trueness to type, or the degree of contamination by seeds or by genetic materials of off-type varieties or species. The success of hybrid seed production is dependent on the genetic purity of parental lines, and both outcrossing and the inadvertent mixing of seed can compromise seed quality.1

Cold and super cold germination tests are very important while deciding when to plant, and what seed should be planted first. Big Cob Hybrids’ results over the last three years show the average cold germination is 95.82%, which is 10.82% above the industry standards. The industry standard is 85% for the cold germination test. Big Cob Hybrids’ super cold germination results over three years averaged 94.4% germination. There is no industry standard for the super cold germination test. From these results you can see why Big Cob Hybrids is confident enough in our seed quality to assure the MaxStand Guarantee* to farmers.

For more information about planting Big Cob Hybrids and our MaxStand Guarantee*, call (402) 641-5014.

 

RESOURCES:

1 “Genetic Purity” – Genetic Purity. BioDiagnostics, Inc., n.d. Web 13 Feb. 2015.

* Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location and from year to year. This result may not be an indicator of results you may obtain as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. In order to be eligible for the MaxStand Guarantee, growers must plant after the agreed insurance early planting date for their region. Big Cob Hybrids’ Maxstand Guarantee is assured for germination only. Big Cob Hybrids is not liable in any way for replant of seed due to compaction, disease, insects or any other environmental condition. Big Cob Hybrids is also not liable for any post emergence replant such as hail, freeze or any other environmental conditions. The field must be inspected by a Big Cob Hybrids’ representative. The cost share with the insurance company will be shared with Big Cob Hybrids to cover replant seed if the insurance company recommends replant for germination reasons.

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