Friday, September 3, 2010
Farm Equipment Fridays: Seed signs
I was talking to a friend of mine, and she had been talking to a friend of hers. (Yes, this is one of those “friend of a friend” stories. But this one is true! And it’s important, so pay attention!)
So this friend said that she was disappointed at the number of commercial farms she had seen on her drive. When asked how she knew they were commercial farms, she said she could tell because of all the signs along the edges of the fields.
If you’ve done any driving at all in any areas where crops are grown, chances are you’ve seen them, too. And if you have a farming background, then you know what they mean.
But if, like this friend, you don’t have a farming background, then you might not know what they mean. In fact, you might make the assumption that this means that Beck’s owns and farms this field.
And this would be a reasonable assumption. After all, when you see a sign with a name on it in front of a building, you expect to find that business operating inside the building, yes?
Actually, these signs are more like the signs a contractor will put in your front yard when he is doing work on your house. It’s an advertisement. “Don’t you love my work? Don’t you want to grow my seeds, too?”
Sometimes the signs will just say “Hey, we’re great!”
Sometimes the signs will give a little more information about the seed that was planted in that field, like the hybrid number.
The important thing to know about these signs is that the company on the signs does not own or farm the field. That is simply where the farmer who does own the field bought their seed that year.
After seed sales are done and fields are planted, the seed dealers (sellers) will go around the country, check out the fields, and place their signs in front of fields that have a good looking crop. And on roads that have good traffic. (You won’t see these signs on gravel back roads!)
The important thing to remember is that most of the farms in Indiana (and in all of America!) are still family-owned. They may be incorporated now, but the corporation (farm) is still owned and run by a family.
(Disclaimer – Beck’s Pioneer, and AgriGold have not sponsored this post. In fact, I’m pretty sure that none of those seed companies even know that I exist.)