FBN found some companies relabel up to 80% of their seed, while only 31% of members polled think they are planting relabeled seed, creating a “Transparency Gap” that could impact ROI and management of genetics
SAN CARLOS, Calif. & CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Farmers Business Network (FBN), the global farmer-to-farmer network and ag tech company, today released the industry’s only seed relabeling report which found that most seed farmers purchase is relabeled, even though a majority of growers surveyed by FBN are unaware they are purchasing relabeled seed. Without labeling transparency, farmers are at risk of overpaying for seed — one of the largest expenses for their operation — and potentially also risking a lack of genetic diversity in their seed mix.
The FBN Seed Relabeling Report is the only report of its kind, based on the most extensive dataset in the industry. Growers from FBN’s network of 27,000 farmers contributed more than 35,000 seed tags, representing over 8,000 unique seed products, primarily corn and soybean seeds. FBN analyzed these seed tags alongside more than 60,000 unique seed invoice records, sold by 270 different seed companies. This data paints a clear picture of how pervasive the practice of seed relabeling is, even though many farmers are not aware of it.
The report is made available to Farmers Business Network members as part of their free membership. Farmers who contribute seed labels into their account will also have access to “as sold as” details for every product that FBN identifies as being relabeled. Contributing seed labels is made simple through the FBN mobile app, as growers take a photo and upload it in a process that takes just seconds.
A survey conducted by FBN in September found 31% of FBN farmer members think they plant seed that has been relabeled, while, according to member contributed data and analysis in the FBN Seed Relabeling Report, 73% of FBN members actually did plant seed that had been relabeled — indicating this problem is much greater than most farmers realize. The opaque seed market can hinder the grower’s ability to make the best decision for their operation and ultimately impact their ROI.
“The practice of seed relabeling means that farmers may pay vastly different prices for the same seed and is a good example of the lack of transparency in agriculture that Farmers Business Network is working to change,” said Amol Deshpande, CEO and Co-Founder, FBN. “This report shows the power of the FBN network of farmers who, by sharing information, empower each other and create the potential to transform agriculture.”
Seed selection is one of the most critical decisions farmers make each year. It represents one of the largest expenses of an operation, and seed varieties differ greatly in both price and yield potential. Major crops can have hundreds of products on the market from hundreds of seed companies. Farmers must correctly select the right seed, optimize its placement in various soils, and select population, treatment, chemical and fertilizer regimes. Planting the right seed in the right field can be the difference between profit and loss for a farm.
To make seed selection even more challenging, farmers also need to contend with a common practice in the seed industry where the same variety is sold under multiple brand names—a practice FBN has termed Seed Relabeling.
The report found that:
- Some companies relabeled up to 77% of their corn products, and up to 80% of their soybeans.
- 57% of soybean seed browns were relabeled.
- 49% of corn seed products were relabeled.
- 73% of FBN farmers planted relabeled seed products.
- This comes as only 31% of farmers believe they are using relabeled seed products.
Seed companies relabel their products for various reasons. They may want to increase their product offerings, but lack the ability or financial capacity to develop breeding programs. Some seed companies use relabeling as a branding and pricing strategy.
To download the FBN Seed Relabeling report, which is made available free to members, visit: https://use.fbn.com/seed-relabeling-report.
Farmers Business Network, Inc. is an independent ag tech platform and farmer-to-farmer network with a mission to power the prosperity of family farmers around the world, while working towards a sustainable future. Its Farmers First® promise has attracted over 27,000 members to the network with a common goal of maximizing their farm’s profit potential. FBN has set out to redefine value and convenience for farmers by helping reduce the cost of production and maximize the value of their crops.
The FBN network has grown to cover more than 70 million acres of member farms in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Blending the best of Midwestern agricultural roots and Silicon Valley technology, the company has over 600 personnel and offices in San Carlos, Calif., Chicago, Ill., Sioux Falls, S.D., a Canadian Headquarters in High River, Alberta, and an Australian Headquarters in Perth.
To learn more, visit: www.fbn.com.