If you routinely save your bin-run wheat for seed because you think it's saving you money, you may need to do some more math, Syngenta Regional Account Lead for wheat, GreenLeaf, Greg Gungoll, told farmers and seedsmen attending a field day in Enid, Okla. last Thursday.
"Let's say you have a hypothetical certified seed cost of $15 a bushel and a harvest market price of $8 a bushel for saved seed. It looks like you are saving $7 a bushel on seed wheat by using saved seed," he said. "In reality you have to factor in what it cost you for storage, cleaning, interest and other costs, it comes out more like $4 a bushel in savings."
But that is still not the whole story, he said. The big difference is that you get better stands, better health and better yields from certified seed that from saved seed – and a bump in yield that, even by conservative estimates, amounts to earnings of considerably more than any money saved on seed.
"That additional two or three bushels in yield adds up by the end of harvest to a tractor payment or an air seeder payment," he said.
Gungoll urged certified seed growers and seed salesmen to discuss those numbers with farmers when they are making decisions about what to plant.
He also had a few words of advice about certified seed for growers next fall: call early to reserve supplies.
"With the challenges this crop has faced, I would encourage growers to start making calls early to place their seed order early to ensure their desired varieties are available. I think we are going to be seeing some short supplies across this region because we have lost so much wheat to the weather conditions."
He also reminded seedsmen that now is the time to be getting things set up to be able to quickly load the trucks when planting season rolls around.
"Time management is a big issue," he said. "Farmers want to get in and out. The quicker you can move them through the more likely they are to come back."