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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

July 28, 2012
By: Dan Anderson, Farm Journal Columnist
CornKernel Breakup

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Even Dr. Phil would have trouble mediating the complex relationships between farmers and their seed salesmen 

You saw it coming. Promises were broken. The excuses were feeble. Pleas for you to "Give me

another chance—I know I have what it takes to make you happy" didn’t sway you.

It was time to face the facts: Your relationship with your favorite seed salesman was over.

If the truth was known, both parties were at fault. There were rumors you’d been seen looking at test plot results with a young seed salesman from the next county.

The breakup wasn’t pretty. Your longtime seed salesman was frantic. "We’ve been through so much," he sputtered. "Remember all the great yields we had?"

You were embarrassed but defiant. "You’ve been taking me for granted," you replied. "I heard about you and my neighbor Fred. You’ve been saving all your triple-stacks for him. I’d expect that sort of behavior from Fred—he’ll do anything for a free hat—but you, I thought you had standards."

The separation was ugly. For months, you barely twitched your hand on the steering wheel if you met him on the road. It was no accident that your favorite go-to-town hat and coat were emblazoned with the logos of a competitor’s seed company.

But your eyes always lingered over the full-page ads for his seed company in farm magazines. When neighbors bragged of their yields, the numbers of his hottest new varieties stuck in your head, no matter how hard you tried to forget them.

This year, things didn’t turn out like you hoped. The bin-busting hybrids promised by the smooth-talking salesman from the next county were good, but not as good as they first seemed. The coffee at his field day was a little bitter, his pulled-pork sandwiches required Tums for

dessert, and you felt ignored when he spent his time fawning over another farmer who has a bigger planter than you.

Then, one day at the hardware store, you and your former seed salesman turn down the nuts-and-bolts aisle at the same time. It’s awkward at first, but he eventually complains about the weather, and suddenly it’s just like old times again.

Every joke you tell sends him into gales of laughter. Every comment you make on politics or the economy draws an agreeing nod. But you know the question is coming.

"So," he finally asks. "How were your yields last year?"

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - Seed Guide 2012

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