BUSINESS BEAT: Carson City farmer partners with Dairyland Seed


By Daily News • Last Updated 12:55 pm on Friday, November 23, 2012

CARSON CITY — Central Michigan is a great place for production agriculture with its excellent soils and moderate climates.

Unfortunately, it is somewhat distant from the headquarters of major seed brands.

With this in mind, Greg Koehn of Carson City and Dairyland Seed General Manager Tom Strachota recently met to discuss an idea. The concept was simple — Koehn acknowledged that Dairyland Seed had fine genetics, but Dairyland Seed’s ability to service customers in central Michigan had its limitations. Strachota agreed.

After months of planning, a new concept was born.

“We’ve been using Dairyland Seed for over 30 years and have planted other major brands, but several years ago we switched exclusively to Dairyland Seed,” Koehn said. “The Dairyland Seed genetics are the best we’ve planted and we are very satisfied.”

Koehn said one of the reasons he became involved with Dairyland Seed is because of their commitment to plant breeding.

“They have the most unique alfalfa breeding program in the industry with their patented hybrid alfalfa products,” Koehn said. “They also have one of the world’s largest soybean breeding programs and, with their recent purchase by Dow AgroSciences, their corn breeding efforts are now tied into one of the largest in the world as well.”

According to Strachota, before being purchased by Dow AgroSciences, Dairyland Seed licensed genetics to more than 400 seed brands throughout the United States and the world.

“While there are farmers in central Michigan who are unfamiliar with Dairyland Seed, many of them are not strangers to planting our genetics,” Strachota said. “They merely poured the seed out of a bag with someone else’s logo on it.”

The licensing effort has since changed.

“Now that we’re part of a larger Dow AgroSciences seed group, today’s emphasis is on gaining market share within our own brand, rather than on licensing.”

The opportunity for Koehn came through recognition of a limited amount of servicing that Dairyland Seed was able to provide in the area. In particular, servicing soybean seed needs at spring planting time was a challenge. With this in mind, Koehn is gearing up for spring planting next year. He is moving forward with plans to construct a new warehouse and invest in soybean seed handling equipment, as well as a soybean seed treater.

“Many producers in central Michigan are looking for convenience in the spring,” Koehn said. “By being able to offer a variety of seed treatments, offering bulk delivery and delivery of soybean seed in black boxes, we can provide answers to a lot of trade needs.”

Koehn will be offering soybean seed with fungicide seed treatment, as well as insecticide seed treatment and inoculant. Dairyland Seed will place soybean seed inventory, along with corn and alfalfa seed, in the Koehn warehouse near Carson City in order to provide a good selection of genetics for farmers to chose from throughout the winter and spring.

Call Koehn at (989) 330-3139 for more information.

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