DARLINGTON, Ind.--()--Spectrum Premium Genetics™ is a new brand of exclusively non-GMO seed corn distributed by Spectrum Seed Solutions™, a seed company based near Crawfordsville, Indiana. The Spectrum brand is committed to offering choice and product diversity in an era of seed industry consolidation, and redefining hybrid performance, sustainable crop protection, and economic return for farmers. Spectrum Premium Genetics™ is the result of a thorough, decade-long proprietary research program dedicated to breeding, hybrid evaluation, and on-farm producer trials. The brand is positioned to deliver elite products for U.S. corn producing areas ranging from less than 90 days to over 115 days relative maturity.
“We’ve combined our farm background and work experience with the largest companies in the industry to mold our mission. We aim to maintain a simple way of doing business, to act justly, and be substantial for the betterment of agriculture”
Expanding Choices for Farmers
“Several years ago I began to recognize fewer seed options and more restricted access to seed research data necessary for decision making. Along with seed becoming my most expensive input, my underlying concern was an increasing lack of choices for our family farm operation; and my attention consequently shifted to creating quality alternatives to the current seed corn available. As our company formed, I quickly discovered the most profitable options were new non-GMO hybrids,” says company President Scott Odle.
In 2012, Spectrum will expand its product line-up to 16 non-GMO hybrids and use local research data to match products to growing environments. “These genetics are the newest genetic choices available to farmers, and we move aggressively to commercial seed production once the best product for a target environment is identified. This enables farmers to immediately benefit from genetic yield gains. In contrast, transgenic GMO products often require as many as five years for trait conversions, efficacy trials, and regulatory approvals before release. When a GMO product is eventually available to farmers, we’re already on to the next generation of genetic yield potential,” says Product Manager Scott Johnson.
Hybrid Development and Performance
The size and scope of the Spectrum hybrid development and breeding program ranks among the top 10 programs in the United States, and one the largest dedicated solely to making non-GMO products available to farmers today. Each year, thousands of yield trials and pre-commercial strips from Ohio to North Dakota are carried-out to compare possible new non-GMO releases with the most popular commercial products on the market today, with or without traits. In addition to extensive hybrid evaluation and selection, corn breeding activities focused on inbred line development are based in Indiana and Minnesota, as well as Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico. “Our breeding program is very hands-on and comprehensive. The breeders carefully select new strains of genetics in the field, and combine field information with molecular marker data to better understand how the germplasm can be used to enhance yield potential, or other characteristics. These ongoing breeding projects will ensure the availability of premier non-GMO hybrids today and in the future,” says Johnson.
Sustainable Crop Protection
Spectrum Seed Solutions™ utilizes Durayield™ technology, a series of proprietary stress tolerance traits, as a tool for managing a wide range of corn production challenges. Unlike a single gene or the few genes used in GMO hybrids for pest control, Durayield™ non-GMO hybrids use an array of native genes to convey stable tolerance to disease, insects, drought, heat, and conditions of low fertility. There are no IRM (Insect Resistance Management) refuge requirements or market restrictions for Durayield™ products. “Our non-stop, year-round breeding station in Puerto Rico is an ideal place to strategically induce various stresses and efficiently identify gene combinations for Durayield™ products. Rapid integration of these stress tolerance mechanisms with simultaneous improvement for genetic yield potential is an incredible market advantage for the farmer,” says Technology Manager Ed Baumgartner. Durayield™ technology will be offered in the Spectrum Premium Genetics™ brand for the 2012 growing season.
In 2010, Spectrum initiated PlotPak™, an on-farm strip trial program designed to confirm potential economic return of non-GMO hybrids. The program is implemented by farmers to assess non-GMO product performance compared to the dominant GMO products on their farms. “Buying seed is an investment and we understand our seed products must offer additional returns. Last year, based on 120 replications of farmer-generated data, we found non-GMO hybrids out-yielded GMO hybrids by an average of 4.7 bushels per acre,” says Odle. And he adds, “This is why we see our PlotPak™ program as a critical component of our story. The purpose is to empower farmers and re-engage them in the decision making process.”
Business Team and Industry Experience
Spectrum ownership includes farmers, researchers, and seed producers with over 80 years of experience in the business. “We’ve combined our farm background and work experience with the largest companies in the industry to mold our mission. We aim to maintain a simple way of doing business, to act justly, and be substantial for the betterment of agriculture,” says Odle.
Spectrum's business team includes:
Scott Odle (President) graduated from Purdue University in 1984, majoring in Agricultural Economics. After working at Cargill as a grain merchandiser, he returned home and currently no-till farms 4000 acres in a west central Indiana partnership. Scott has been an early adopter of specialty products and biotechnology traits, and has been featured on the cover of Top Producer magazine.
Dave Ballenger (Seed Production Manager) graduated from Ohio State University in 1967, majoring in Animal Science. After farming near Delaware, Ohio, he became the seed production manager at Robinson Hybrids then Garst (Syngenta) after a series of mergers and acquisitions. Most recently Dave has owned and operated Ag Consulting and Management Services based near Darlington, Indiana.
Scott Johnson (Product Manager) graduated from Iowa State University (1997, 2000), majoring in the areas of plant biology, corn breeding, and genetics. After working at Weaver Popcorn as a corn breeder and initiating a proprietary commercial corn breeding program in 2001, Scott worked at BASF licensing corn products to retail seed companies in the Eastern Corn Belt, East Coast, and Mid-South areas of the U.S.
Ed Baumgartner (Technology Manager) graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1983, majoring in Agronomy. After 13 years at Keltgen Seed in Minnesota, he managed the Dow AgroSciences winter seed facility at Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico. Ed formed the 3rd Millennium Genetics Corporation in 2005, a tropical winter production service business, and is currently involved with breeding corn in Managed Stress Environments (MSE) and introducing native corn traits for crop protection.
Individual and small group tours are available throughout the growing season featuring Durayield™ product demos, breeding nurseries, replicated yield trials, and production trials. Please contact Dean Gourley at 765-894-7685, email@example.com, or visit www.spectrumseed.com for more information.