By: Lucas Gillmore, Seed Manager
I’m often asked why we offer row crop seed from four different companies: Dekalb/Asgrow (Bayer), Agrigold (AgReliant), Brevant (Corteva), and Stine. Why would we want to offer seed from so many companies? Ultimately it boils down to genetic diversity and parent lines. A study published in 2006, showed from 1980 to 2004 there were 908 corn inbreds used in corn breeding (Mikel & Dudley). As of today, three companies (Bayer, Corteva, Syngenta) are responsible for 685 of those lines. The second reason is trait package. Each of these companies offer different traits with different strengths and weaknesses. The following is a bit about each brand, where they fit in our portfolio and why we continue to recommend them.
Dekalb is one of the oldest corn brands in the world and is almost 14 years older than Pioneer. They offer a best-in-class trait package with SmartStax for rootworms along with an extensive research pipeline. Dekalb/Asgrow has a completely unique lineup. You cannot find the same genetics in any other bag. They are the gold standard for retail corn and soybeans.
I would call Agrigold the preferred partner of the big three. They don’t compete in the chemical space which allows them to work with all three of the major companies (Bayer, Corteva and Syngenta) allowing them to offer the most dynamic genetic base and several world class hybrids. Their proprietary genetics also have the most trait options on corn and beans bringing corn traits from Bayer and Syngenta, and bean traits from Bayer and Corteva/MSTech.
Brevant is the new seed offering from Corteva. They are strictly an ag-retail brand, bringing one of the most extensive corn breeding programs from Corteva. Corteva has built an incredible lineup of great-yielding genetics including their exclusive AcreMax & Qrome insect trait package.
Stine has been a leader in the soybean market for decades, especially when it comes to traits, agronomics and yield. Roughly 85% of the beans planted in America have Stine genetics somewhere in their background. Stine has since started breeding corn with their own proprietary genetic lineup by taking a different approach: Stine corn is generally shorter than the other hybrids on the market. Bayer and Corteva are also following suit by developing shorter hybrids as well. Stine has also partnered with Syngenta and Bayer for corn traits.
At the end of the day, our goal is to place the right hybrid/variety for each of your field’s specific needs. Our selection in brands, genetic potential and traits has been designed to fit a wide array of agronomic conditions to fulfill this goal. While there are going to be regional companies that come and go, our strategy in developing a diverse seed portfolio is to give our growers options for years to come.
Our agronomists are ready with the 2022 seed offerings lineup: 137 unique corn hybrids, 97 soybean varieties and a full arsenal of trait packages.
Mikel, M. A., & Dudley, J. W. (2006). “Evolution of North American dent corn from public to proprietary germplasm.” Crop Science, 46(3), 1193-1205. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2005.10-0371