Sponsored By
Farm Progress

Buying seed isn't as simple as it used to beBuying seed isn't as simple as it used to be

Oakland farmer offers a glimpse into his seed purchasing philosophy.

Curt Arens

October 5, 2016

1 Min Read

Purchasing seed has changed over the past two decades, so it isn't as simple as it once was. "The days of going to plot tours and having producers say, 'Just give me your best number,' are long over," says Oakland farmer Tony Johanson. "We, as producers, have had to change our mentality when it comes to seed purchases." The new corn and soybean varieties coming onto the market these days have specific fits for varied conditions, he explains.


"Plots can be great learning tools for making seed-buying decisions; however, the plots are typically placed on the best parts of the field and are meant to show top yield potential versus the competition," Johanson says. "I have always stressed to producers that when you look over plot data, look at trends across the different environments and not just the plot winner in a local plot. Just because a corn hybrid or soybean variety finishes in the middle or toward the bottom of a plot doesn't mean that it is a bad product. It simply means that this product needs to be managed differently or has a specific fit on a certain acre."

For Johanson, agronomic traits are important to protect yield potential, but he focuses first on selecting the right genetics for every acre out there. That means putting seed genetics ahead of some of the protection traits built into the seed.

Related story: 3 seed buying considerations

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like