The January issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer featured a question about someone having already promised to buy seed from one company, and now thinking about switching to another company to save money.
You can find the question by accessing magazines online on the left side of the home page, then click on the January issue, page 50.
Harold Davis, O'Dell, interpreted three of the panelists to say they would emphasize that business is business and make the decision that made economic sense. He agreed with advice from Bob Taylor, retired Purdue University Extension ag economist and teacher, who opted for honoring the deal.
Here's what Davis says, in part.
"I was somewhat disturbed with some of the answers in the January issue regarding the purchase of seed corn.
"In my opinion, Mr. Taylor is the type of person I want to do business with. He nailed it perfectly when he said: 'Once I've said I'll do something, I try hard not to go back on my word. Most people use the same ethics in their business and personal lives. "
Davis is a retired farmer and sheep shearer, who traveled the country shearing sheep for pay. He continued, "I've dealt with hundreds of people during that time and I've seen it so many times that if you want to continue in business, honesty pays.
"What kind of legacy do we want to leave?"
Davis is entitled to his opinion. Likely you have your own. The purpose of the column is to present a cross-section of opinions from those engaged in farming and those who work with farmers.
The seed corn question has been murky according to some in the industry for some time. Companies may vary on the type of contract they ask customers to enter into on early orders, regarding whether they can back out without penalty later or not.
As Davis points out, there can be a difference between what's technically legal and what's ethical.
What do you think? Is it OK to back out of a seed deal for economic reasons? Weigh in using the comment tool below.