Farmer’s Business Network, the independent farmer-to-farmer network, today announced the F2F Genetics Network, a new seed line model for the future of seed development and direct-to-farm distribution. The F2F Genetics Network will bring farmers conventional (non-GM) and post-patent seeds in corn, soybeans, and other crops direct to FBN members with greater transparency on genetic identity, yield performance and prices.
As seed companies consolidate and competition is reduced, high seed prices for farmers continue to hurt family farm incomes. Agrichemical companies have promoted increasingly expensive biotech traits to farmers, limiting the availability of non-GM seeds. Practices such as non-transparent pricing, regional Zone Pricing, relabeling, rebates, and hidden discounts have become seed industry standards at the expense of family farm profitability.
“FBN members are fed up with high seed costs and reduced competition from industry consolidation,” said Ron Wulfkuhle, Head of Seed at the FBN network, who will lead the F2F Genetics Network. “In the F2F Genetics Network, farmers go from seed consumers and price takers to seed creators and market drivers.”
A New Model For Seed: The F2F Genetics Network
The F2F Genetics Networkcombines a new independent breeder network, with the FBN farmer-to-farmer network and agronomic data science platform. The F2F Genetics Network puts farmers closer to the breeders than before, enabling farmers to actively co-develop genetics through data, creating a new era of high-performance seeds delivered at vastly lower costs for farmers.
The F2F Genetics Networkwas created to putFarmers First in seed, with these core principles:
- Interactive and Independent Network of Breeders and Farmers: Farmers take an active role in seed development through data to develop better performing varieties for their specific environments. By being totally independent, the F2F Genetic Networkcan find the best genetics from breeders, universities, and novel technology companies.
- Performance:F2F seeds will be uncompromising on performance with the flexibility to select and target the highest performing genetics from our independent breeder network. Farmers’ seed-soil placement, population, fertility and disease management, will be assisted through the FBNanalytics network.
- Transparency:FBN members will get for the first-time greater transparency on genetic identity, trial and yield performance, and pricing.Fore genetic identity, seed parental lineages and relabeling matches will be shown up front. FBN members will get access to both pre-commercial breeder trial and actual in-field performance from other FBN members, instead of just the “promotional” test plots traditionally used to sell seed.
- Fair Pricing: The F2F Genetic Network will use national, transparent pricing, and eliminate the practice of discriminatory regional zone pricing. By selling direct-to-farm through the FBN Directe-commerce platform, we will be able to keep seed prices exceptionally low
- Freedom to Keep Seed: Seed keeping will be enabled with the Soy+1 program, restrictive bundles are eliminated with flexible financing and discounts on other inputs in FBN Direct.
“Farmers will not only have access to lower cost seed, but also the transparency farmers have come to expect from Farmers Business Network, and the opportunity to actively shape the future of seed.” said Wulfkuhle.
“Farmers Business Networkat its core believes transparency, competition and innovation are keys to farmer profitability,” said Amol Deshpande, CEO of Farmers Business Network. “Input prices, specifically seed, continue to grow faster than the commodity prices farmers receive. We are looking to reverse this unsustainable trend by fighting for farmer profitability with innovative solutions that give farmers leverage, even if they are unpopular with the industry, or downright contrarian.”
Farmer Freedom Through Keeping Seed: The Soy+1Program
For decades, seed companies have barred U.S. soybean farmers from saving seeds after harvest to plant the following season at vastly lower cost — which has allowed seed companies to charge full price every year. The F2F Genetics Network’s Soy+1 program will allow farmers, for a fee, to keep, clean and replant F2F Genetic Network-branded soybean seeds.
F2F Genetics Network Seeds Now Available for 2019
Orders and commitments for F2F Genetics Networkseed have already commenced, with a limited supply available for the 2019 season. Initial products will include five conventional corn hybrids (RM 102 – 112) and four glyphosate tolerant soybean varieties (RM 2.2 – 3.1). These seeds have multiple years of production history, and are bred to be suitable in the mid-latitudes from Nebraska to Ohio.
Additional hybrids and varieties, as well as other crops are rapidly being added to the network. Early order participants, who complete a credit application and qualify, will also receive 0% extended terms and the F2F Unbundle with discounts on an unrestricted selection of inputs offered through FBN Direct.
Yearly FBN membership costs $700 with no punishing acreage fees.