Seed in Incognito Mode

Oct 5, 2021

Farmers Business Network (FBN) is blowin’ the seed industry’s cover with their recent Seed Relabeling Report.

The problem: While FBN stays neutral on relabeling, they say their report provides transparency into a practice typically shrouded in secrecy. The relabeling concern is twofold: overpaying for the same seed from different brands, and lack of genetic diversity despite attempting to reduce agronomic risk by purchasing from multiple brands.

By the numbers: The fourth annual report has grown from 8,000 seed tags in 2017 to 35,000 seed tags this year, which contributed to the following findings:

  • 49% of corn and 57% of soybean seed products are relabeled
  • 6% of farmers who submitted tags bought the same variety from multiple brands
  • 73% of FBN members bought relabeled seed products

And new traits and companies are not immune. Qrome, Enlist E3, and LLGT27 traits, as well as a very high percentage (75%+) of Zinesto, Brevant, and Apex seeds were relabeled.

It’s a pervasive problem, bigger than farmers may think. Only 31% of FBN farmer members believe they plant relabeled seed—but based on the data from the report, the actual number is closer to 73%.

A soundbite: “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,” says FBN CEO and Co-Founder, Amol Deshpande.