When money is tight we all begin to look for ways to cut costs. After all, cutting cost is the best way to increase profitability. Or is it? When it comes to seed selection during this economic low, the temptation will be to ignore what we know about varietal differences and look for the varieties with modest performance with a cheap price tag. This decision can be justified by asking the question-
“Is there really that much difference?”
University of Wisconsin Madison Forage Extension Specialist, Dan Undersander stated in a recent article, “I am always amazed by the number of people who buythe cheapest alfalfa or grass seed they can get. That is a little like saying that you want the cheapest cow and don’t care whether it’s an Angus or Holstein. The difference among alfalfa varieties or grass varieties of any species is greater than the difference between an Angus and Holstein cow.”
How are these differences accounted for? Disease resistance, starch availability, heading dates, fiber digestibility and consistency are just a few factors utilized to decipher varietal differences.
The encouragement here is for you to think about why you’re using higher value seed products, crunch some numbers and quantify those differences, then make your decisions.
Undersander continues to say, “If you figure the total cost of land, taxes, production and harvesting costs, seed cost is often less than 1% of the total production cost, so buying any variety that does not have high yield or the characteristics most beneficial for your management system is being penny wise and pound foolish.”
Exerpt from Farm Progress Magazine, January 2014.