My Thoughts on Selecting the Right Seed

//My Thoughts on Selecting the Right Seed

by Bob Eash, owner of Best Forage

Let us help. Most farmers, if they are like me, are strongly independent and feel that they can handle almost anything that confronts us. We weather the storms of high and low prices, heat waves, drought, frosts and freezing temps; from no rain to torrential rains, pests, diseases, and equipment breakdowns. It’s not easy producing top-yielding forage crops with high quality day in and day out. If it was, everyone would be doing it.

Personal experience. I’ve been a dairyman most of my life. My family is the 5th generation on our family dairy farm in northeast Indiana. The farm has had many dairy cows on it since 1884. We know a thing or two about dairy cows. We know that feed costs are the biggest expense on any operating dairy farm — accounting for over half of its expenses. We also know that the better your forages are, the more you can reduce your feed expenses. Poor forages can be a huge challenge with low margins.

High yielding, high quality forages don’t just happen. You need to have a cropping plan to meet your projected feed budget or you will be spending a lot of money buying extra feedstuffs to balance your rations. We don’t just measure yield or forage quality because either alone is not a good measure for how good your forage program is. We have specific ways to calculate and measure forages that will give you good, practical numbers you can really use. We want to help our customers to be the top farmers in their community and to be profitable enough to stay in business for a long time.

Shared experience. Like myself, most of our dealers are farmers, too. They are good, honest, hard-working people who want to share what they know and help their fellow farmers. We work with these products every day on our own farms and know the ins and outs of each product. We know not just how to select the right product for a certain field, but how to grow and manage that product to get the most out of it. For those of us with livestock, we then have the experience in balancing rations to get the most meat or milk from the use of that product as a feed stuff. Within our dealer network we share what we have learned as a group and then put that knowledge to work in our recommendations.

Product experience. We also see these products used on many of our customers’ farms. We have walked a lot of fields throughout the Midwest, from Wisconsin to Ohio, Michigan to Missouri, and we have seen how our products have performed in several different types of soil, weather, and management practices. You won’t find any of the information looking through a seed guide on your own. Let us help select the right products for you and your fields. It is estimated that 75% of the seed sold to farmers today never reaches its full potential because it was planted in the wrong field. Does the product yield? How easy is it to make quality forage with it? How does it feed? Where does it fit and where not to use it.

Great products. Every company selling seed has at least a few good products or they wouldn’t be able to stay in business today. What makes us different? We strive to have a lot of great products. We want the best alfalfa varieties, the best corn varieties, the best forage grasses and so on… We are not tied to just one company and we don’t have to sell what they have left in inventory. Many of these companies have been around for a very long time, some have been around for just a short time. Many of these companies are not just the top companies in the US but around the world. Some are huge companies, some are smaller companies. We work with several different companies and can select which products we want to use and which ones not to use. That is why we are called “BEST FORAGE” and not just Good Forage.

It takes more than just a great product. There are not perfect products on the market. If there was, everyone would just buy that product. Every product on the market has at least one weakness, some of them have many weaknesses. You would not know those weaknesses from all the advertising companies do. Many products are over-hyped and many sales people have never used the product they are selling. Do you want or need their advice? Is it the type of soil it is planted in? The right fertility and/or management needed to reach optimum results? Is it susceptible to certain weather patterns or pests or diseases? Some products just work better with others. How do you manage those risks with what you do on your farm?

We can help. Give us a call or drop us an email. Give us 30 minutes of your time for us to listen to your goals, dreams, and needs. Also for you to hear and evaluate our solutions to things keeping you from reaching the next level. Let’s see if we would be a good fit to work together to improve your forage and cropping operations.

By |2017-04-13T15:17:31+00:00April 11th, 2017|Seed Selection|0 Comments

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