Whether you plant seed from Beck's Hybrids or not, there is one thing that no one can deny about this family-owned business. It doesn't sit still. There is always a crane, bulldozer or some sort of earth-moving equipment at the base plant, working on a new project.
The most recent building, the research building, was just opened recently and highlighted during a media tour. Groundbreaking was just over a year ago. This is the building that Beck's agreed to build in Indiana instead of elsewhere after the Indiana Department of Agriculture helped come up with financial incentives and a financial package to make it attractive to expand here instead of elsewhere.
The new building houses a huge amount of empty seed carts at the moment. This fall Sonny Beck says they will be filled with seed form inbred plots. Beck's does some of the development of their own lines of seed. Corn breeding is a numbers game. The more inbreds that you look at, the more odds you have of finding one that will fit in combination with another inbred and produce a marketable hybrid.
The other big expansion going on at Beck's main plant this summer is a unique holding bin built next to the dryer for shelled seed corn. The odd-looking structure is built in pods. Various pods can be combined to make bigger storage areas if there is more volume of seed. Or pods can be left separate or hooked together in smaller combinations if they are preparing a smaller amount of a particular hybrid for drying. The new structure will enhance their capacity to move seed through the facility and handle it properly at harvest, Beck says.
Cranes were still in place working on the unit when we visited. Workers were also putting steelwork in place. Beck expects it to be an important addition that will help them streamline their processing operation of seed corn in the fall.