Why Seed Fails & What To Do When It Does
5 Apr 2326 min 8 sec

Face it, with so many seed companies vying for your business, no seed rep will tell a farmer it’s their fault when their stand suffers. But Kelly Garrett says oftentimes it comes down to operator error. He shares his advice for avoiding a “seed failure” which might really be a planting error. Kelly also shares — based on experience — how to salvage a wounded crop without the expense of replanting. Integra’s B.J. Schaben and Mark Menke, on the other hand, say conditions at time of planting and other factors are often to blame for a bad stand. You’ll enjoy this discussion as it rekindles the debate over nature versus nurture. The big takeaway, according to Kelly is this: When your crop is amazing seed gets too much credit, when your crop underperforms, your seed takes too much of the criticism.

Presented by AgXplore

00:00 Most seed people as you know will never admit that they've ever had a failure. They'll never tell you why the failure and they'll certainly never say it was any part of their fault and 00:09 probably it wasn't we're gonna dig into win seed fails why it fails and what you can do about it when this happens, welcome to extreme AG's cutting the 00:18 curve more than just a podcast. It's the place for insights and information. You can apply immediately to your farming 00:24 operation for increased success this episode of cutting the curve is brought to you by AG Explorer with Innovative products that improve fertilizer efficiency protect 00:33 yield potential and reduce stress. I explore helps Growers maximize field potential find out how AG explore can help you get more out 00:42 of your crop at Ag explore.com. And now here's your host Damian Mason. Hey there, we got a fantastic topic for you today on Extreme Ice 00:52 cutting a curve we're talking about when the seed fails you're gonna be surprised. I have two seed guys 00:58 on here and they are with Integra. That's Mark Minke and BJ shabin and they're joined by extreme AG founder Kelly Garrett. I was 01:09 going to throw it out there guys. I've been guilty of saying all right, there's really not that much difference in seed and I 01:15 can tell you one thing having worked at all these field days all these years as a speaker Entertainer guy. I never once never one 01:21 time in any of the 12 states where I've done field days. Did they put you on the hay wagon drag you out of the field 01:27 and then say Oh God this variety of ours absolutely sucks the test weights about 46 Pounds. It got 87 bushels per 01:36 acre with prime growing conditions. You know what this is an absolute turd. We're really glad to call it ours. No, they bush hog down that 01:42 stuff and they have their three plots. They go out there and like put, you know hand fertilize and they say oh, 01:49 Those amazing the point is seed field days are very much the same thing over and over and over again. They tell you all about their winners and they like to show you shiny stuff 01:58 and they dig down and show you a root ball. And that's all fine. I get it. You're you're in the AG business, but let's face it. It doesn't 02:04 always work that way. Farming is not a field day. So why does seed fail and when it does fail? Why 02:12 do you why do you then have to make the adjustment one adjustments? Do you make before I get to the two seed guys? I'm gonna go straight to the farm Kelly. I said we're gonna 02:21 call this episode win seed fails. And you said no I want to call it. Why seed fails? So let's go with why why does seed fail? 02:28 Well, the number one reason out of our controls weather. The number two reason is because of the grower but BJ and 02:34 Mark are never going to tell you that because they're afraid to lose a customer and I don't blame them but it's the grower not enough 02:40 attention to the planner improper fertility poor planner maintenance poor poor spray or maintenance poor application 02:49 timing things like that, but nobody ever wants to blame the grower because they're afraid to lose a customer, but we're the number two reason after weather. 02:58 BJ is that true that that and on both fronts first off you are you reluctant to ever say this is 03:10 operator error because they're going to go down the street and pick up another seed Hybrid next time. Well, you know Damon you're selling a living breathing. 03:21 Object here that the farmer puts into the ground. There's a lot of things that need to check the box to be successful. But yeah, sometimes 03:30 you are reluctant to say that but in most cases a lot of farmers will admit when they did do it wrong. Hey, I might have gotten into the the field 03:40 a little bit earlier than anticipated or you know what I didn't check to see what plant population I was actually laying it in 03:49 at and and I might have grouped up here a lot of times you'll have that but you know, the biggest thing is it's a 03:55 living breathing object and things have to go right to make sure that you do have a bountiful crop and you know, I've been on there's tours too Damian where hey 04:04 look at this you got to hear that's the size of that's a size of a ruler, you know, look at this. This thing is 04:13 getting you 450 500 bushels we would like it to but at all is at the beginning when you plant the seed things have to be right. All right, 04:22 Mark I left you for last Kelly says it's a lot of times operator error, but you see companies are afraid to say that because they might lose a customer BJ agree with that then BJ 04:31 talked about the unique challenges. It's a living product. It's a Thing it's a seed that goes into ground and immediately you 04:37 hope it starts germinating and the next thing you know voila. There's a lot of moving Parts you're gonna tell me why seed fails 04:43 and and I want to know which one these guys is, right is it that it's operator error or so, there's a lot of moving Parts. Which one is it? 04:52 Well, I'll just give you the political answer and say it's a little bit of both. So we get about five good days 04:58 to plant in the spring but it takes ever about farmer about 10 to 15 to actually get everything done. So a lot of times conditions are less than 05:07 perfect. So most of the time I've been on calls when seed has been accused of failing it takes a little time to sort out, 05:16 you know, what was the environment? What were the planning conditions and then when you get down to the 05:22 specifics to really find out if it was actually the seeds full the times that you're really caught dead, right? When you have a side by side one seed 05:31 out performs the other but lots of lots of factors involved before you get to that point. Well, we do trials here and Kelly is 05:40 doing stuff and there's every farmer, you know, I read once that the average farmer produce uses two and a half different types of seed companies because you don't 05:49 want to have all your eggs one basket or you want to try and make sure Sure, you've got someone to leverage against you. I'm not sure what that is Kelly how many 05:55 different types of see how many different brands of seed do you plant? For okay, and it's 06:01 not like you're in this we've done trials we've done trials. And I I don't know that you've ever definitively 06:08 said here's the one that always is the clearly if there's one brand you would be with one brand. There's not you've got four. Right there. There's not one brand to me. It's about the relationship. You 06:18 have the people it's about the service you get from the people and my belief is we're so far away from the top and potential of the Corn that I 06:27 don't you know to say that all seed is the same. I've said that before myself but almost have a new opinion now, I don't know that we're good enough at 06:36 planning the corn we're so far away from the potential of corn. I don't know that we can accurately say that because we don't know. 06:42 Like in other words, maybe it's not the look. Maybe it's not. 06:46 The limiting factor at all. Yeah, I mean we've said I've said it all seeds all seeds the same it's just different label on the bag and you're like hell, who 06:55 knows maybe if we were maybe if we were, you know more really tapping into the limit of where it could go. We'd start to see a difference, but maybe we're not even 07:06 there. Right. I think you I don't think that we really have the 07:12 authority to judge what corn is better than others right now because you're so far away from the potential of it. 07:19 when seed fails why it fails we're still working on that. I want you get the last rap on why it fails BJ. All 07:28 right, you're not gonna make me mad clearly. You're not gonna make Kelly mad be honest with this is why is it fail? If 07:34 it's our fault? Tell us why? If it is your full might have been you know, I've got a practical experience with this so two different. 07:44 Hybrid companies but one was one was our product one was a competing product form related in the same day laid it 07:53 in at a very very high population. Of unfortunately, oh when you look back at it our germ scores 08:01 on that particular hybrid weren't equivalent, especially cool germination cold saturated soils were equivalent to what that competitor was. 08:11 All 38,000 grew for the competitor and about 28,000 group for ours. Okay, and it happens on every hybrid 08:20 it can lose its cold sat germ score. Okay, where it goes down that means it's not going to germinate as quickly as the others. However, we went 08:29 through a drought scenario through that year. The competing corn was at 38,000 and It produced popcorn the hybrid that 08:38 we had, you know by luck. There's a lot of luck that's involved in this actually had a flexi type of ear 08:47 grew out and and really did quite well. It's not always gonna happen that way though, but there's a lot of things that go into it. What we 08:57 do is some really rigorous testing. In fact All Brands will tell you they do rigorous testing on germination of their of their hybrids their 09:06 seed that they're going to be putting out. They want to make sure that in cold saturated soils some companies do this some companies don't they want to make sure 09:15 they test those cold sap scores to make sure that they're equivalent or what they need to be to make sure that number one it 09:21 gets up it gets out of the ground because as what we're seeing more and more of more acres are being formed. 09:29 A lot of guys aren't maybe looking at what they're four inch soil temperature is before they go out. They're not waiting for ideal conditions. 09:38 They have to push the issue to get it into the ground to make sure that they have a crop out there because there's a lot of Acres that are a lot of farmers are covering right now. 09:47 If they could have one field to make an ideal. That's all they were going to farm. Yes, they would get it right every time but there's no exact science to 09:56 it. It's a gut feel when you should go and what a lot of companies are doing now is making sure that we're testing all of the hybrids 10:05 we can to make sure those germination scores are good. Cold sap scores are good, but also looking at the seed treatment. 10:14 And what we can have there to make sure that we get it up out of the ground because also there's insect pressure too as well. And I'm sure Mark can dive into that. 10:23 Well before dive into insect pressure, BJ just gave me like 40 different reasons why this seeds gonna fail. I have a hard time thinking that that's just the farmer guy the farmer 10:33 guy out here. I think that I think that Kelly is being hard on his peers mark He just gave me a whole bunch of reasons. 10:41 So every year, you know a lot of you know the back to the comment where people talk about the differences between seeds. So not only do we have genetic differences which 10:50 can lead to a lot of differences in germination ability how it does in cold soils how it yields Etc. But each year seed 10:59 Productions a little different and each seed Lots different. So really you may have in some cases the rounds have a better 11:08 germination than the flats just based on how that environment during the seed production field went. So one of the things we do with our 11:17 customers is for some of those farmers who tend to plan to tougher conditions, if they're planting earlier if you make that a priority and talk with your seeds and 11:27 we can help you choose the best seed lot in the most premium seed treatment in order to help you where you're at. For example in Texas. 11:36 We do a higher insect great seed treatment because there it's hot Near they're not so worried about funguses are more 11:44 worried about bugs later on. Whereas in the Upper Midwest. We want to high rate of the fungicide plus even a nutritional 11:53 which helps replenish that seedling and helps it get going a little bit quicker in the spring. Hey Kelly, these guys are saying that's not operator error. We spend 12:02 so much time on our extreme AG stuff talking about info. What's going in Furrow. What's going in two by two how your Planters set up making sure 12:11 that it's consistent that between soft soils and hard soils and on top of knobs and the low areas you're still getting it consistently seated what 12:20 an inch and a half is that I'm looking for two inches two inches Food, I'm more like two and a half but yes two inches. 12:27 So that's all planner set up and stuff going at time of planning. These guys outlined a bunch of stuff other than soil conditions. That's none of what you just that you 12:36 and I think is of operator controlled. There well, I think they're full of it Damian. I got to tell you I told you number one is the weather 12:45 in one a or number two is the farmer. Let me give you an example here and BJ was there 2021 we're chasing Francis. We had his variety 60 61 12:54 Planet at a population of 36,000. We had a 35,000 stand. I knew I needed 950 kernels per stock 13:03 to be at 4:45. Remember Mr. Child's records 442 80% of the stocks had had two ears. Remember BJ. Yeah, 80% of 13:12 the stocks had two ears. We had an average of 964 kernels per stock. I was quietly very excited 13:19 because I had produced enough Colonels to break the record, but we had a long way to go to then the corn made 301 13:28 And we're like, well it got hot what happened looking Evans and I looking back. We think we applied the wrong products. We 13:34 ramped up the energy or the we ramped up the hunger of the plant and we didn't have the nutrition supplied ahead of that to to fill that 13:44 hunger and we screwed it up 100% my fall. All right, so now but wait the average guys gonna say Gonna Roll his eyes and say well by 13:53 God you Blade 300 bushel corn. That's a success 300 bushel can corn relative to other corn. That's a success 300 bushel corn 14:02 relative to my expectations and what we had in that field until I screwed it up is not a success. So let's make sure we understand the perspective that we're talking about. Okay? 14:11 Yes, because I think anybody is going to say for God sakes 301 bushels. You're calling that a failure. No, 14:17 it's not a failure. It's just that you were that was a that was a field where you were trying to ring the bell. All right. So here's the thing. 14:23 Let's talk about when it fails which clearly that did not fail, but it was just a it was a 14:28 Certainly a deficit from what you anticipated and was sure felt like a failure to me. Yeah, by the way, don't you hate that 14:37 BJ and you notice since you're here's the thing. Do you remember that like Sherry Stinson like oh she was the teacher's pet and 14:46 then oh, she'd take a test and then be like, oh my God, I totally flunked you missed one question. Some of us really did. All right. 14:55 Something's really did flunk it, you know, oh, I totally flown you missed one question and they're pulling on nobody likes that person. You know, what? 15:04 Okay, Kelly and I pulled disclosure went to school together. Okay, he was always the age student. I was lucky 15:10 to get a d okay. I'm not not lying you there same thing. Okay. He's that guy. 15:18 All right. So answer me this when it when it fails, which that's not a failure when it fails. What do you do? Okay, the old thing is call up the seed 15:27 company. Hey Mark come out here and write me a check. It's your fault. What do you do when there's a somewhere between 15:33 a let down like Kelly experience or a full blown? This is a this is a this is a you know, what show, what do you do mark 15:42 Yeah, and no one has ever called me complaining about a 301 bushel Field of Corn yet just for the record. But hey, by 15:53 the way first off. Can you Salvage it you go out there and it's first of June and it's like oh my God, we got like a 65% 16:02 and of what was supposed to come up do I do I just plow it up. Do I call the insurance man and say I'm gonna go out here and just, you know, 16:11 see this to grass for the rest of the year. What do I do? Yeah, when you get that those situations where you're 16:18 getting onto the first of June, those are situate, you know, you got a value 65% stands not gonna cut it and if you haven't laid down a a 16:27 pre-emerge yet. You've got a chance to rotate the beans where you have a little bit more of a full yield potential stuff like that. So that's that's definitely definitely 16:37 when you evaluate stand exactly. You're already. Yeah, you're already out what a good hundred and twenty dollars an acre of seed and then another $60 16:46 an acre of ancillary inputs Kelly. We are we at 200 bucks. Yes. Yes, you are. You're about a couple hundred bucks, but I 16:55 would tell you that I believe that you can save it to a degree another experience this last year the corn and beans we planted in the first week of the 17:04 year when the wind blew and it was cold. We had a lot of stand problems and and then we go forward and 17:10 that you know, well on our beans with 1800 Acres of beans the first 600 acres made 55 the second 1200 Acres made 82 that'll tell you the weather problems that 17:19 we had there. We had a lot of our corn overall made 200 bushel the corn planted that first week made 170 except for one field 17:28 and you know, we're on here for an integral like not trying to plug the other products but the source program that we used 17:34 we put Source on one of those early planted Fields because we thought it was gonna be a dog and we wanted to see what we can do with what source could do the corn 17:43 made 190. Now that's not a total side by side and total incredible good data, but all the other corn planted out first week weighed 170. This field made 190 17:53 still didn't make 200 our overall average, but I would tell you we did save it and I think that's one mistake that Growers make when you have 18:02 a problem halfway through the season as Lisa's keep rounding the basis when we stop rounding the basis we turn a dog into a real loser. Yeah, by 18:11 the way, I don't even halfway. Oh not even halfway in the season in your example. I said first of June which of course that's Northwest Iowa, which June first would be a very different situation for 18:20 Chad Henderson down in north Alabama, right the point we're gonna make here is just because there's a slight failure and it may not be the seed. It could 18:29 be a bunch of things could be seed operator error season blah blah blah when it's a 18:34 a partial failure You've already got 200 and some cost us some cost and should never be a part of long-term decision making I remember that from economics background. That's exactly what 18:45 talking about. However if you're in it for a lot and you say well that sunk cost but you're also talking about 18:54 a bunch of new costs. Oh, well the seat covers gonna give me seed for replant. Well, there's still time diesel Manpower. We're 19:00 on equipment potential comparison losing season losing time on the season days. 19:08 And also the other inputs with you replant you still got put other stuff in the inputs. Right right, another hundred bucks of that. So when when do you 19:18 what's your decision on when to pull the plug on a on a failure this June 1st, and you look out there mark, you said you said switch 19:24 over to soybeans. Kelly says, nope, almost stay with it. On June 1st. I can't on June 1st. I've already 19:31 got the the spray, you know, I'm gonna spray right behind the planner. So that's not an option. It's gonna be a real dog. You're 19:38 me to switch. You're gonna try it. You're gonna try and stick with it and Salvage and yeah, how much fat until it's unsalvageable? 19:45 50% of stand yes. Under 50% You don't try and Salvage it under 50% I would Salvage over 50% I and 19:56 that that's some of the decisions we made this very Year. Great time to have this conversation after the tough spring we 20:02 had last week with the wind blowing and things like that. Yeah. When seed fails BJ you're the higher 20:09 up you come out there with a checkbook and just start writing people checks. No. 20:14 Not exactly. I think that's what everybody dreams of of an exact walking out there with the checkbook and read. No, you have 20:23 to evaluate all of the situation where it's at. It is a planter failure. You know, what was it? You know, what was particularly going 20:32 on with that seat. I'll go back to what I said the beginning. It is a living breathing object. There is human error that interacts with What's Happening 20:41 Here. But when you look at it number one that farmer needs to get a crop in the ground and I'm with Kelly you can't 20:51 give up on it. You have to see it all the way through, you know, it's gonna look bad before it gets better. But man there 21:00 there are certain mistakes. You can't make at the beginning of the Season that could cost you dearly 21:08 Hey, we're probably about expiring on this topic. But why it failed we still got a bunch of different reasons when it 21:17 fails they are giving me different options thing is I might hear listen this I'm still not sure I know what to do. But what was my big 21:26 takeaway mark? Let's face it you're the one that gets the call. BJ doesn't take to call. You're the one that takes to call 21:34 when it fails why it fails. What am I supposed to do? What am I if I'm the operator am I supposed to know? What am I supposed to do? 21:42 Yeah, and that's that's the the million dollar question but generally fits early in the season and it's a replant situation. I've always 21:51 stuck pretty close to just the general charts from the universities and I know you know, there's some Farmers that can salvage a 50% stand to 22:00 Corn but most of the time if you understand or management practices, if it's June 1st or something like that at 80% stand to 22:09 Corn is about what you need or else you need to go ahead and replant and start from scratch because obviously it's 22:15 a decision made by the individual operators and also, You got to take into effect. The hybrid you have is it something that needs High population or is it a flex hybrid or 22:27 is it a drow to your soil or are we in a high productive Soul. We need 36 38,000 plants per acre. So that's that's really where it 22:36 comes into and it's it's usually a pretty collaborative effort. What if we get out there and we really talk with the grower and and we talk over all the options. 22:46 Generally that that answer comes out really clear and we're able to make a decision together that works for all of us Marcus sounds like everything you 22:55 just said Kelly disagrees with and that's okay. Sometimes this gets a little contentious over here. I mean you guys 23:01 remember the Maury Povich show where the hillbillies would fight on the stage over whether it's your who's the baby daddy? 23:07 That's kind of what happens here on this program. You disagreeing Kelly. Every hybrid Flex is some of it just isn't always 23:15 visual to the eye. You can pack more weight and pack into a bigger kernel and with I always try to raise a half a 23:21 pound of grain per stock. And 22,500 plants per acre. Is 201 bushel at a half a pound now, I would like it to be an even stand and so 23:33 if there's a partial stand out there it's gonna be an even stand in between it is like you want a bunch of doubles or anything, but at a 23:39 22,500 account population, I expect 201 bushel corn. That's that's there's nothing wrong with that when we're 23:48 talking about having a problem. Every every variety flexes and you got to keep going at it. Listen. This is 23:55 the these guys aren't telling you the other side of the coin. Here's my belief when the corn is really good. The seed corn gets too much 24:01 credit. BJ's never going to tell you that he doesn't want that credit, but when the corn is bad the corn takes too much blame and 24:07 these guys can never tell the farmer that it's their fall because it's their customer but the farmer needs to take the farmer needs to understand what's really going on here so they can get that. 24:16 The corn gets too much credit when it's good and too much blame on its back. We're gonna leave it right there because clearly you 24:24 and Mark are never going to agree. Hey, by the way, Mark, thanks for for being on here and and be but you 24:30 know being the the target of his ire I'm sorry Mark. He's getting agency. It's late spring. He's getting that way. Hey, BJ, thanks for being on here. The company's Integra seed Matt 24:42 miles and Kelly Garrett used the stuff and they sometimes post about it. So you guys come back on maybe mid late season. I'd like to revisit this very topic 24:51 and talk about what's happening and I would like it if we wouldn't look to the field that was not one of 24:57 the dream Fields, you know, that's where I think we really that's where I think we really see this stuff and I think Kelly's got a 25:03 good point there. So in case you missed it, I'm gonna wrap up Kelly's point when this when the crop looks really good. We 25:09 give undue credit to the to the seed when it looks really bad. We give undo criticism to the seed and sometimes the answer is actually back 25:18 on the conditions and the plan the operator the BJ's not in his head. See you guys agree, but that other guy 25:27 way the discussion is why seed fails and when it fails Mark Minke and BJ's album 25:35 with Integra Kelly Garrett founder of extreme egg til next time I'm Damian Mason. Thanks for being here. 25:43 curb for more insight S in addition that you can apply to your farming operation visit extremeact.com. Are your craft stressed out AG Explorer 25:52 has you covered with a full line of products designed to reduce crop stress and improve yield check out agxplor.com and 25:58 start protecting your yields and profits.

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