Friday, September 3, 2010

Farm Equipment Fridays: Seed signs

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I was talking to a friend of mine, and she had been talking to a friend of hers.  (Yes, this is one of those “friend of a friend” stories.  But this one is true!  And it’s important, so pay attention!)

So this friend said that she was disappointed at the number of commercial farms she had seen on her drive.  When asked how she knew they were commercial farms, she said she could tell because of all the signs along the edges of the fields.
becks seed 1
If you’ve done any driving at all in any areas where crops are grown, chances are you’ve seen them, too.  And if you have a farming background, then you know what they mean. 

But if, like this friend, you don’t have a farming background, then you might not know what they mean.  In fact, you might make the assumption that this means that Beck’s owns and farms this field.

And this would be a reasonable assumption.  After all, when you see a sign with a name on it in front of a building, you expect to find that business operating inside the building, yes?
pioneer seed 1

Actually, these signs are more like the signs a contractor will put in your front yard when he is doing work on your house.  It’s an advertisement.  “Don’t you love my work?  Don’t you want to grow my seeds, too?”
Sometimes the signs will just say “Hey, we’re great!”
becks seed 2
Sometimes the signs will give a little more information about the seed that was planted in that field, like the hybrid number.
becks seed 3
The important thing to know about these signs is that the company on the signs does not own or farm the field.  That is simply where the farmer who does own the field bought their seed that year.

After seed sales are done and fields are planted, the seed dealers (sellers) will go around the country, check out the fields, and place their signs in front of fields that have a good looking crop.  And on roads that have good traffic.  (You won’t see these signs on gravel back roads!)

The important thing to remember is that most of the farms in Indiana (and in all of America!) are still family-owned.  They may be incorporated now, but the corporation (farm) is still owned and run by a family.
agrigold seed 1

(Disclaimer – Beck’s Pioneer, and AgriGold have not sponsored this post.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that none of those seed companies even know that I exist.)


  1. MB- Funny!! And, yes some do post their signs on back gavel roads...there's one just past my house! Some of these guys should also be sure to mow around their signs and be sure they are straight. Very informative post though for any no-ag followers!!

  2. Neat! I didn't know that. Now this evening when Anthony and I make our way to Vermont, I will have to share this information with him. :)


  3. Very nice! I think we country folk forget how removed some people are from the farm, and what is common knowledge to us might not be so well known to those just passing through!

  4. Great post. Thanks for helping tell the truth.

    P.S. Congrats on being an Excellence in Ag finalists. Good luck!!!

  5. I just read an article last week about people responding that way to a survey. I thought that was so weird!

  6. I had NO IDEA that people thought this until earlier this year when a girlfriend told me the same thing. Now I totally understand the "WHY" behind it but we need more people like you educating other moms and friends on the real story behind farm seed signs. Thanks so much for sharing! I have been to AgriGold head quarters in St. Francisville IL and know they would be thrilled you are telling this about their signs! They are fiercely proud of the signs.
    Katie from North Dakota

  7. Thanks for all the comments, ladies! Like most of you, I was very surprised when I heard that story.


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