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What is the Answer?

Did you know the answer?  Monday I asked what these signs on the edge of fields represented.  Several people commented, here or on the Facebook page. Ever wondered what these signs mean? The signs don’t designate field ownership, which was the misconception I was trying to correct.  Instead they are a little more like billboards.  They advertise to other famers what brand and variety of seed was used to plant this field. Ever wondered what these signs mean? So here the seed was sold by Pioneer.  If you looked at this field while driving past (and farmers do) and noticed the ground was  similar to yours and the soybeans were doing really well you might take note of the number in red as well.  Calling a seed salesman and asking for “Pioneer seed” would get you a very long list. A screen shot from DuPont Pioneer's website Here’s a screen shot from their website.  You scroll through two pages of this chart. A screen shot from DuPont Pioneer's website But if you know the number you can click through and find the information about the seed you are interested in.  The website provides information on how it grows in different soil types, how many days it will take to grow to a mature plant, how well it does against disease. Ever wondered what these signs mean? And while you might go around with a brand name on your jacket, you probably don’t go out of your way to advertise for a company. Neither do farmers. Seed representatives for the various brands check with farmers for the the fields using their products and then scout for crops that look best.  The reps put in signs to advertise their business.  For the farmer a sign is a little bit like a gold star.  Your crops look great! Brian (AKA Daddy) used to scout for sign-worthy crops during an internship he had in college.  It’s hot, sticky work! Ever wondered what these signs mean? Some of you also mentioned test plots, or research, where a company or university grows a seed to learn how it does in a specific area.  You can usually identify test plots by the rows of signs. Also important, seed companies work with farmer/landowners to do these test plots.  The seed representative (rep) sometimes gives a farmer specific seed to try for free, or the rep may come and plant the seed himself.  It’s a pain on our farm, but some growers really like the advantages of test plots.  While the companies do own ground, probably near their research facilities, it is a TINY percentage of farmland in the US. So the family farm isn’t gone.  In fact, non-family corporations actually make up only 3% of farm ownership in this country.  97% are still family farms!

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Categories: Family, Farming | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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