What are Integrated Seed-to-Harvest Solutions?

- Glenn Friesen

Integrated seed-to-harvest solutions. It’s a mouthful, but the concept is simple, and makes all the difference between success and failure in the world of product storage and handling.

Integrity of the crop and quality of crops is becoming more and more important, as is segregation of varieties. Careful thought must be given to solutions that start on-farm, right from seeding through to harvest, and even after that. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Quality control and monitoring to make sure you’re on top of your crop production is crucial, right from seeding and chemical applications, through to harvesting the crop and storing it. Farmers must work closely with seed suppliers, chemical companies and agronomists to make sure they’re up on the latest trends and products available to them.

Myths abound about integrated seed-to-harvest solutions. A big one has to do with cost. These kinds of solutions might come with an up-front investment, but are specifically designed to reduce your costs over the long term. It’s helpful to incorporate an integrated solution whenever you’re replacing or upgrading equipment to minimize cost exposure while maximizing the impact to your overall storage and handling systems.

Making a change now helps avoid more costly solutions down the road. For example, seed stored in an improper bin is always susceptible to contamination of weeds and foreign seeds. A conveyor should not only handle commercial grain, but be considered valued equipment in seed handling for its cleanliness, speed and seed quality preservation. Modern augers feature reversing gearboxes, so farmers who use it for seed grain can reverse the auger to ensure it was cleaned out before and after use.

Seed tenders are a great example of an integrated seed-to-harvest solution. They’ve allowed larger farmers to transition from bag seed to bulk seed without the fear of seed loss, damage or contamination. As corn and bean acres expanded, the need for larger planters and seed tenders was necessary — but innovation was required to maintain the quality and integrity throughout the whole seed planting and handling process.

A lot is changing in the seed industry, and integrated seed-to-harvest solutions will only become more important with time, as will companies within the industry that specialize in them.