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same seed different bag

Relabeling is something that’s irritated farmers for a very long time and turns out for a very good reason.

Labeling laws require seed companies to provide the variety identity on the seed bag tag itself. But it is different from the marketed brand name. However, it sometimes can be difficult for farmers to match which seeds are the same as others. This is a problem Charles Baron with Farmers Business Network calls Seed Relabeling.

Does the phrase “Same seed different bag” sound familiar? It’s something that’s frustrated farmers for years. Companies selling seed under different brand names has been a common practice in the seed industry.

“We started a project trying to decode that. Farmers have now sent us pictures of well over 1,000 tags which have the variety names as well as the trade names. We then cross match all of those variety names and tell each of those members if they are paying in fact planting a duplicate or the same seed twice,” Baron says.

“We found an instance where one brand was relabeling with another in the same state, in the state of Indiana for example, but charging $60 a bag less. That was quite shocking because those farmers were effectively overpaying by almost $30 an acre once you work the math out which is a lot of money to be overpaying for the same genetics from a different branding,” Baron says.

Buck S – 2/4/2015 18:24

ecwis – 2/4/2015 15:01

For corn, the breeding group at Stine is pretty meager, so it is likely a bunch of germplasm is coming from the same place the traits are coming from.

Just had a seed salesman stop in .Told me a lot of stein corn is the same as channel.. R9313 is channel 197-31 was one example. Also Stein bean 19RA02 is the same as Asgrow1931 and Channel1900 and are quite a bit cheaper in a stein bag. Is there any validity to this. Not looking for opinions, just any factual data .. Looking for options as I haven’t purchased any seed yet. Thanks for any input .

Just had a seed salesman stop in .Told me a lot of stein corn is the same as channel.. R9313 is channel 197-31 was one example. Also Stein bean 19RA02 is the same as Asgrow1931 and Channel1900 and are quite a bit cheaper in a stein bag. Is there any validity to this. Not looking for opinions, just any factual data .. Looking for options as I haven’t purchased any seed yet. Thanks for any input .

ecwis – 2/4/2015 15:01

What is the variety code on the Stine bag for R9313. 197-31 is 1036682 and is one of the most piss poor, biggest brittle snap piece of garbage that I have ever come across. You better get a five gallon pale of ky jelly if you are gonna plant that garbage cause your gonna take it in the shorts. Hopefully the Stine guys will stand behind it for you when you are vacuuming it off the field.

According to FBN, Seed Relabeling was found to be common amongst the vast majority of seed companies; 71% of corn seed companies and 79% of soybean companies studied were found to be relabeling at least some of its seeds. More than 50 corn seed companies relabeled more than 50% of their seeds, and 10 companies more than 80%. Many smaller, regional, and independent seed companies without breeding programs utilize relabeling to increase their product offerings and compete on price and service. However, the study also found widespread relabeling amongst the major consolidated agrichemical companies. Amongst the very largest seed and agrichemical companies, it is not uncommon to see more than 60% of a company’s seed product portfolio being relabeled and re-sold by multiple brands.

“This was only possible by crowdsourcing from thousands of farmers, nationwide, simultaneously, this planting season,” said Meisner. “We rigorously examined every seed label and pricing invoice to build our cross-matching database.” Co-Founder & VP of Product, Charles Baron, said, “We are a network of and by farmers whose mission it is to put Farmers First. This information is critical for farmers and is their basic right as consumers.”

This time of year, growers are placing their seed orders for next year. But, do you really know what is in that bag? Farmer’s Business Network is a new company that collects and analyzes data for its farmer members. Head of Analytics, Matt Meisner, says they analyzed the actual genetic hybrid being used by their members by reviewing seed tags and found a significant amount was the same seed just being sold under different names. “We analyzed more than 7,500 seed labels, 2,550 unique genetic varieties from 110 seed companies, and 10,000 seed price invoices, and released the industry’s first-ever Seed Relabeling analysis,” he stated.

Through its analysis, the report found that a full 38% of corn seed analyzed and 45% of soybean seed analyzed are relabeled and re-sold by multiple different brands. Individual corn seeds were found being sold by as many as 12 brands, for as much as a $97/bag price difference (35%) in the same state. Meisner said, in some cases, there was a considerable price difference, but the need for transparency goes beyond just economics, “Farmers can substantially over pay for seed by not knowing that the identical seed is sold by other brands at a lower price. It also means the actual genetic diversity available within each crop is much smaller. And, most importantly, it can create the dangerous potential for farmers to accidentally concentrate genetic risk, leading to increased resistance issues.”

As widespread as the practice of relabeling was found to be, FBN analysts still believe the estimates are actually conservative. “Each additional new seed entered in our system, the likelihood that it matches another seed increases. As the data set expands to encompass all seeds on the market, the percent of each brand’s relabeling will almost certainly rise,” said Meisner.