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Hybrid Seeds in Farming

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  • 1. Hybrid Seeds and Farming
    - A look at the world of farming and how it has been changed though the introduction of hybrid seeds.
    - An interview with CortAnholtz
    Michael Maroney
  • 2. CortAnholtz
    • Graduated with a degree in Aviation from Kansas State University
    • 3. Works as a local farmer in Northwest KS near Bird City KS
    • 4. Farms Corn, Sorgum (Milo), Wheat
    • 5. Has soldseed for NC+ for 4 years
    • 6. Has been involved in farming his entire life with many generations of farmers in his family.
  • Cort has a very distinct way of talking. He has a weathered voice but is only 25 years old. When he talks he doesn’t force the subject matter, he simply presents it and lets you interpret it in the best way possible.
    He shows how much he cares about farming through his knowledge of the crops and how they work with the environment.
    He has worked as a sales rep for NC+ for 4 years and really displays his knowledge about the products well. He knows a lot about how they are produced and which seeds best suit the area in which he farms and lives based off the weather and soil.
    He works hard at his job while keeping strong ties to his family and friends.
    He has farmed my families land and sold us the seed for the crops for 3 years and has become a good coworker for out farm. He always looks out for what is best for the farm in both the present and the future while considering our wants as owners. Although he has only been farming for a few years on his own he has developed a good reputation with the farming community through his sincere personality and good work ethic.
  • 7. Hybrid Seeds
    Farming has dramatically changed over the past century due to the innovation of new strands of crops and cross pollination techniques.
    Monsanto is the industry leader in the development of seeds variations both genetically and through cross pollination. The best strands of the crop for that year are selected and cross breed in a laboratory for best possible product for the year to come. The seeds can be bred for immunity to certain harmful insects or to increase crop yields. The strands become specific to dry or wet climates and can have different grow times, otherwise known as relative maturity rates.
    The farmers can save money with hybrid seeds due to the decrease in pesticides needed and diesel fuel used on farm equipment.
  • 8. This shows the trend of hybrid corn used in Iowa over the past decade. Use of these hybrids is rising and will continue to do so with the demand for higher crop yields pressures farmers.
  • 9. Advantages
    Increased Yields
    “Just as 1963 was the first year area farmers cracked the 100 bushel/acre mark, 2009 saw many farmers breaking the 200 bushel/year mark” (Dolan)
    Less pesticides needed
    An increase in the price of oil creates an increase in fertilizer costs. (Dolan)
    Drought resistant crops
    Disadvantages
    Farmers need new seed variations each year.
    Over-dominance becomes a problem in the crops.
    They seed companies are owned and managed by a large corporation which gives farmers little say about prices of seeds and pesticides.
    “An unknown cost included in the price of each bag of seed is the tech fee, or the royalty that the manufacturers add for the genetic technology used to produce the hybrid corn.” (Dolan)
    The farmers have to plant a section of the field without hybrid seeds to lure insects to that section instead of main crops. They then spray that with pesticides.
    Refuge crops
  • 10. Although many people around the world may struggle from the introduction of hybrid seeds into agriculture, local farmers continue to use them and support what the benefits they bring to there business. The hybrid seeds cause higher crop yields due to modifications in the pollination process of the plants. New seeds are sold each year which can cause a spike in the cost of production for the farmers but in many cases that cost is made up through higher yields.
    Monsanto is a powerhouse in the agriculture industry and like any corporation could very easily treat is consumers better than it does. They have taken over the seed and chemical parts of agriculture around the world and continue to raise prices of their products causing many farmers to become in debt to the company. In America, smaller scale farmers use the hybrid seeds created by Monsanto and other large seed corporations because it truly is the only way that they can make money of the agriculture business today. Over all these companies pride themselves on making work easier on farmers with the idea that “no one disagrees on the need for better seeds and more choices in technology” (BS Reporter) although the often look past the rising costs of there products.
  • 11. Bibliography
    Anholtz, Cort. Personal Interview by Michael Maroney. 25 Apr 2010.
    Dolan, Ross. (2010, April 26). Cost outlook mixed as spring planting begins. Daily Republic.
    Elmore, R, Gassmann, A, & Hodgson, E. (2010). Compliance or complacency: corn producers and bt refuge. Wallace"s Farmer.
    Reporter, BS. (2010). Monsanto looks beyond btbrinjal.Sifyfinance, Retrieved from http://sify.com/finance/ monsanto-looks-beyond-bt-brinjal-news-news- keybEqhdhch.html