Suppose you're in a good mood because harvest is going well and decide to call off your dogs and let the seed salesman out of the truck. That's a friendly gesture. Maybe you're headed to the field, and invite him to ride along in the combine. What questions would you ask him or her?
Dave Nanda with Seed Consultants, Washington Courthouse, Ohio provided information for this article. Refer to the first five tips in Wednesday's feature item on Questions to Ask Seed Salesmen.
Six. Where is your seed produced? It's a fair question. Some regional and national companies produce their own seed, while some others don't. That's not a problem as long as the people who they buy the finished product from do a good job of production. Your seed salesman should know who's producing the seed.
Seven. Can you explain the discounts completely? You may have to stop the combine for this one. There are volume discounts, early-pay discounts, cash discounts, sometimes s a sliding scale depending upon when you pay, and it all gets confusing. Make sure you understand what your options are.
Eight. What if I can't take advantage of discounts because I can't get the money until next spring? There should still be a volume discount that would apply. Most seed companies aren't in the loan business anymore. Make sure you understand the terms for when payment is due and what if any penalties kick in, even if you're foregoing discounts.
Nine. How do I know you won't give a better deal later if you need to move more product? If I buy now and you give a better deal, will I get it?
This may be the most brutally honest question you can ask, but it's reality. Rumors of deals that companies have made with larger or new customers to get product out the door circulate each spring. Perhaps some are true, some are not. It appears, however, that there are situations where two farmers don't pay the same price for seed. Make sure your salesman understands how savvy you are.
Ten. What kind of service do I get after the sale? Are you going to come and walk fields with me? If so, how often? One gimmick some companies use is to charge more but provide a scouting service included in the price. Is that worth it, or should you find a cheaper source, then scout yourself?
Look for the final five of the top 15 tips in tomorrow's edition.