The person who brings a weigh buggy to your farm, who takes samples for test weights, climbs the ladder to check the grain and empties the cart just might be a young lady. Companies are finding women make good seed reps in many situations.
Diana Horstman helped run a weigh buggy at a few plots this fall because she and her husband took on a seed dealership. They are now seed reps for Beck's Hybrids, Atlanta, Ind. Their territory is in southeast Indiana, particularly in Decatur and Ripley Counties.
Running a weigh wagon and hauling it around is no big deal for Diana, since she farms full-time with her father, Tim Gauck. Her brother, Steve, was a sales rep for Beck's Hybrids in Greensburg, and has now moved into a regional agronomist position with the company.
"We took on the dealership because we want to add income," Diana says. She's trying to generate enough revenue so that her husband can join the farming operation and have enough revenue to support everyone. Right now her husband works off the farm.
Diana notes that this has been a difficult year both to farm and start in the seed business. They've battled low yields in some situations, especially in early-planted corn, and disease issues in other situations. The biggest problem in the area is aflatoxin in some fields. It's not in every field or on every farm, she says, and the levels of it vary. What you can do with the corn depends upon how much aflatoxin is present in the corn.
Some farmers, at least, are hauling the aflatoxing corn to an outlet that can use it and selling it directly, rather than binning it and storing it on the farm. If it's binned on the farm, Richard Stroshine, Purdue University grain quality specialist, says it needs to be dried immediately to 16%, and down to 14.5% for long-term storage. If wet corn is left for more than 24 hours sitting in a truck, wagon or bin, and Aspergillus mold that produces aflatoxin is still active, the level of aflatoxin can increase dramatically.