Just before the end of the year Pioneer announced on behalf of its parent company, DuPont, that it had acquired two regional companies that were already distributing Proaccess brands with Pioneer genetics. These companies were also still selling under their own brands besides their Proaccess brand.
One of the companies was Terral Seeds, not a player in this region. The other was Seed Consultants, Inc., Washington Courthouse, Ohio. Seed Consultants has several sales reps in Indiana, and while concentrating in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, sells seed in 15 states.
Seed Consultants, Inc. was selling Proaccess genetics from Pioneer under the Supreme EX brand. They distributed both corn and soybean seed under this label.
Seed Consultants, Inc, was featured in the December issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer as an example of a regional seed company still making it in today's tough seed industry. They were selling Proaccess genetics under the Supreme EX brand long before the story was written.
The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2010. It was of special interest to Hoosiers because besides being a seed choice, the co-owner, Chris Jeffries, grew up in Wayne County. He and Dan Fox, of central Ohio, owned and operated the company together. At one time during their younger years, both worked on dairy farms. Jeffries worked for Quentin Williamson, now retired, but known as Mr. Soil Conservation in east-central Indiana.
Recently Williamson contacted Indiana Prairie Farmer after seeing the article to brag on Jeffries. He said he was always a hard worker with a good head on his shoulders, even as a high school student when he worked on the dairy farm. Quentin's son operates the farm today.
The news release issued under Pioneer letterhead simply said 'it acquired' the companies as part of its' Proaccess strategy. No terms were disclosed. Jeffries issued a letter to all customers, telling them that the core values of the company would continue, including offering quality seed at a price which made it a good value. He indicated it would continue to be business as usual.
The announcement comes after an early-December court decision that ruled Pioneer infringed on its contract with Mycogen, owned by Dow, over development of Herculex hybrids, by selling the technology to other companies. Appeals are still possible in that case. A trial to determine damages is expected to begin in Indianapolis this month.
While some competitors implied the ruling might mean companies distributing Proaccess seed wouldn't be able to deliver it this spring, Pioneer and all companies involved denied that claim. They implied the biggest change might be alteration of the bag design before the 2012 season.
Three regional companies, including a major player, Beck's Hybrids, Atlanta, remain independent, but offer a Proaccess brand through an agreement with Pioneer. The other two are Burrus Hybrids, Arenzville, Ill., also a major player, and Doebler's PA Hybrids, Jersey Shore, Pa.