The Real Cost of Bin-Run Soybean Seed
The proof is going to be in the pudding, says Marty Turner, director of stewardship and compliance at STEP Ltd. “If Roundup Ready 1 soybeans are permitted to be saved and if it makes more economical sense, then farmers are going to do it once the patent does expire in 2014. The onus will be on the seed companies and trait providers to show the value for buying those new beans. At the end of the day, they’ve got to outperform the RR1 beans or farmers will start to save.”
However, the true cost of bin-run seed may be much higher than a farmer realizes. Turner provides some talking points when discussing bin-run seed with grower customers:
• There will be some yield loss with bin-run seed. New certified seed outyields bin-run seed.
• Growers may be required to increase seeding rate with bin-run seed because of reduced germination
• Growers should count on some logistics costs when using saved seed—for example, it needs to be cleaned and stored.
• When growers save seed they can’t take it to market to sell, so they lose that income.