Early sales of Wyffels Hybrids seed corn are going well, and federal approval of more refuge in bag options with lower traited seed-to-refuge ratios is expected to buoy customer satisfaction going into 2013, a company official says.
"We are optimistic, we feel good about where we’re at right now," says Jeff Hartz, director of marketing for the Geneseo, Ill.-based company. "Early orders were good, early payment was good, and we’ve got a strong supply of outstanding products to plant next spring."
A recent Farm Journal Pulse survey on seed-corn purchasing underscores that activity: 85% of respondents say they plan to complete their purchases by the end of this year.
Between two-thirds and three-fourths of Wyffels seed fields are irrigated, which mitigated extreme drought losses, Hartz says. Further, the company’s dryland production area around Rochelle, Ill., received decent moisture this summer. While the company will still have to supplement its domestically produced hybrid seed corn with South American production, the company will import less this year than last year.
In interviews earlier this year, other seed corn companies expressed concerns about how hot, dry conditions might affect yields.
Seed corn sales for Wyffels began in July and gradually increased all the way through the end of harvest. After Wyffels harvests its corn, ears arrive at its Atkinson, Ill., production facility. There, it is shelled, sorted, dried, conditioned, blended and bagged. Deliveries will begin in January and continue until planting in late April or May, Hartz says.
While it won’t prompt increased corn production, recent approval of more refuge in bag options with lower overall amounts of refuge seed is expected to improve customer satisfaction, Hartz says. The refuge prevents pests such as cornborer and rootworm from building up resistance to the technology inside hybrid corn.
Whereas the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency used to require a field with most triple-stacked hybrids to be planted to 80% traited seed with a structured refuge of 20%, it recently approved Genuity VT Triple PRO to be blended at 90% trade seed and 10% refuge. Wyffels has many of its very best genetics available with that technology, which is widely used throughout the Corn Belt.
Meanwhile, several other products have been approved for blending at 95% traited seed with 5% refuge.
Growers with many acres to cover in a limited amount of time are going to really appreciate Wyffels Refuge in Bag, Hartz says. Such blending will save them time and energy while ensuring automatic refuge compliance.
"They want to be able to fill the planter and go," he says.
Learn more in this video tour of Wyffels Hybrids seed production facilities: