Maximize seed and chemical purchases while reducing costs

Introducing new decision tools from MSU Extension.

A tractor seeding.
Minimizing costs in seed and chemicals are important to retaining profits on your farm.

Conversations surrounding 2023 farm inputs are focused on higher costs and product availability. As fertilizer continues to dominate those discussions, farm inputs of seed and chemistry can become almost forgotten subjects. However, minimizing costs in these production areas are equally important in retaining profits on your farm.  

Last year, limited quantities and supply chain bottlenecks led to shortages for some chemical products. These shortages raised demand and ultimately producer prices. For some farms, seeking alternative products to meet pesticide needs was a reality. As 2023 planning begins, many retailers are cautioning similar shortages and higher costs could exist. Examples of products that may see supplies managed early on include glyphosate and glufosinate based chemistries. 

Turning to seed costs, companies have not indicated similar supply concerns exist for their products. However, economic factors like higher inflation point towards potentially higher seed costs in 2023. Managing seed costs is more than selecting a lower priced option. Seed selection is your crop’s starting point for profitability. You must choose varieties that fit your field’s growing conditions, likely disease pressure, etc. That decision impacts potential yield and revenue for your farm.  

To aid farm producers in minimizing chemical and seed costs, Michigan State University Extension has released two new decision tools.

Pesticide Cost Comparison Decision Tool

The Pesticide Cost Comparison Decision Tool allows you to consider alternative products and their costs in developing a pesticide plan. Pesticide plans are available for corn, soybeans and wheat. Each crop allows two comparison plans to consider different product options and their costs per acre. These comparisons help find which mix of products meets your needs at lowest possible costs. 

Download the Pesticide Cost Comparison Decision Tool

Seed Selection Cost Comparison Decision Tool

The Seed Selection Cost Comparison Decision Tool helps to identify which seed varieties maximize production and profitability. The key to profitability is considering more than just yields. The economic returns related to seed and harvest costs are equally important. Those costs include seed purchases, low test weight, moisture shrink loss, and drying charges. Tool comparisons provide a ranking for each seed variety based on yield and economic returns. These rankings illustrate top production and profitability options to consider in making seed purchases.  

An additional resource to pair with the decision tool is the MSU Variety Trials. The trial data includes information on variety test weights, moisture, and yields. Note: 2022 wheat data is available, with 2022 corn and soybeans data expected to be published in early December.   

Download the Seed Selection Cost Comparison Decision Tool

These decision tools join the Fertilizer Cost Comparison Decision Tool to help address your farm’s “big three” production cost areas. To learn more about these and other decision tools available from MSU Extension, visit:

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