There are probably as many ways to get soybean seed to the field these days as there are farmers and seed companies. What’s more certain is how seed isn’t going to the field — in 50-pound bags.
The recommended seeding rate issued by Purdue University Extension specialists has varied depending upon row width. It’s been common practice for decades. Shaun Casteel is about to revise his recommendations and vary from conventional thinking.
Small seed bags gave way to big sacks. The big sacks are giving way to boxes and bulk handling. All the while, companies that make equipment for moving seed to the field are watching and looking for better ways to do the same job.
Handling seed corn bags was just a fact of life for Don Villwock and Jason Misiniec until 2010. They switched to a planter supply trailer on a semi bed that features bulk seed boxes. Villwock’s farm is near Edwardsport.
If you thought there were already several options for getting seed to the field, there are more now. Several new ways to handle seed in bulk and deliver it efficiently were unveiled at recent farm shows.
If you drive out to Cane Creek Farm in Snow Camp, N.C., you’ll be immediately puzzled.
If you still get your soybeans in 50-pound bags, you may want to hold onto them rather than burn them after the season. The way the shift toward bulk soybeans is moving, paper sacks with various company names printed on them could be collectible someday. Don’t laugh — do you really think your grandfather thought the burlap bags he used for seed and feed would be sold at antique auctions down the road?
One year ago Kevin Thompson, Morgantown, traded his homemade seed buggy for a commercial model. The homemade version was featured on an Indiana Prairie Farmer cover along with his dad, Gene, in the 1990s. In making the trade to a commercial model, Thompson was looking for more capacity and more efficiency in the field.