Oats Used in Cover Crop Mixes – Liability?

June 6, 2019 Alert
Oats Used In Cover Crop Mixes – Liability?
by Neal R. Foster, PhD., Executive Director, SD Crop Improvement Association
Because of the extremely wet spring that South Dakota and the region has experienced, the demand for cover crop seed will be high this summer. Cover crop mixtures are normally a mixture of legumes, grasses, brassicas, and a few other species that are beneficial to soil health and stabilization. Each part of the mixture has an important role to play in soil health.
Legumes, usually peas or lentils, will fix nitrogen for other plants in the mixture and the future crop. Brassicas, like canola have a strong penetrating taproot that leaves a hole in the soil loosening it and providing for better water uptake. Additionally canola is a good at carbon sink that will help improve organic matter. Radishes, another Brassica, are also added to the mixture for the same reasons as canola. There are several types of radish seed available on the market, however forage or oilseed types are best for cover crops. Grasses, like oats have a large fibrous root system that improves soil structure and provides a food source for the microorganisms that are important to your soil health. Flax is also added to cover crop mixtures. The flax plant has lignin in the stem; this allows the plant to remain erect throughout the winter. The standing flax straw provides a way to break the wind preventing wind erosion and catching snow for better spring moisture.
When buying seed for cover crops the old adage “you get what you pay for and then some” fits very well. Buying the cheapest seed can cause you more grief in the long run. Cheap seed is cheap for a reason. Has it been tested to ensure performance and cleanliness? Is it free of noxious weed seed? There have been several instances of Palmer Amaranth being introduced into the state as a result of cheap, low quality seed. Is the seed in the mixture a Plant Variety Protection (PVP) variety being sold illegally?
Several years ago, the SDSU oat breeding program was about to be closed. At that time oats were becoming more of a minor crop and there was not much industry support. The South Dakota Crop Improvement Association (SDCIA) board of directors opposed closing the breeding program and decided to provide support to keep the program going. Over the last 10 years SDCIA has invested three quarters of a million dollars. This investment has paid off in varieties like Goliath, Hayden, Horsepower, Shelby 427 and Natty. With the continued support of SDCIA the oat breeding program will continue to develop oat varieties that meet the growing demands for grain and forage. The program is starting to develop oats that would be used specifically for cover crops – selecting for a larger, more vigorous root system.
Small grain variety releases from SDSU have royalties associated with them. This income stream is vital to maintain the breeding programs, providing land, equipment and research. With the tightening of state dollars for support, the royalties also help to maintain and grow the breeding programs and provide better seed for the future.
Additionally, all of the small grain varieties released from SDSU through SDCIA have Plant Variety Protection with Title V. This means that these varieties can only be sold as seed by variety name as a class of certified seed. When grain is sold from a local elevator it is grain and not seed. If the local elevator sells any of the protected varieties as grain for seeding purposes (this includes cover crop mixes) they are in violation of the Federal Plant Variety Protection Act. In recent years SDSU has taken a harder stance on infringement of their varieties. Recently a PVP case was settled in Iowa for 2.975 million dollars. This lawsuit involved SDSU oat varieties that were being illegally sold for cover crop mixtures. There is plenty of legal seed available for the cover crop market, so before contemplating using uncertified bin run seed you should ask yourself or your governing body if these sales are worth the risk.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact the SDCIA office: 605/688-4606.
Contact Us
Kathy Zander, Executive Director
Roxanne Rice, Finance Director
Phone: 605/224-2445
Fax: 605/224-9913
Email: info@sdaba.org
Website: www.sdaba.org

Partnership expands Mustang Seeds Family

Madison Daily Leader
By MARY GALES ASKREN, Staff Reporter | Posted: Monday, March 4, 2019 3:36 pm

Partnership expands Mustang Seeds family
PRESIDENT TERRY SCHULTZ, CEO of Mustang Seeds in Madison, said his family had the Mustang brand before Ford introduced the classic car. Now they are sharing it with GDM, another family-owned business, to offer farmers new products that promise to have strong yields.

The family at Mustang Seeds expanded last week. That’s the way CEO Terry Schultz is looking at a new business venture in which the business started by his father Ray will join forces with another family-owned business to offer customers access to new products.

“With GDM’s breeding, they are rapidly bringing new products to the United States,” Schultz said on Friday, just one day after signing paperwork which made GDM a partner in Mustang Seeds. “We are going to have direct access to all the new products that come out of their genetic research and development program.”
GDM is a global company based in Argentina, which focuses on soybean research, development and commercialization. According to its website, the company has a presence in 15 countries, and 21 percent of the world’s commercial soybean production is derived from genetics developed by GDM. Schultz said the company sold more than 41 million units of soybeans worldwide in 2018 and had 48 percent of the market share in South America.

“They also work in wheat and corn,” he added.
Despite this worldwide influence, the company is still family-owned, and that affects the way it does business.  Schultz spoke with Gerardo Bartolome‚, whose son Ignacio is the company’s business manager for the U.S. and Canada, after signing the paperwork on Thursday. Bartolome‚ noted the difference between a publicly-traded company and a family-owned business.  “They live for the quarter,” Schultz said, referring to a company’s quarterly report in quoting Bartolome “Families live for generations.”

This development is not one Schultz expected a year ago. Only after he was approached by a firm that indicated GDM’s interest in finding a U.S. partner to launch their products into the U.S. farm market did he begin to explore the possibility.  “Their research and development efforts in the United States have been going for approximately the last eight years,” Schultz said.

He traveled to both North Dakota and Minnesota to see the research plots GDM has there and was favorably impressed with what he saw.  “What impressed me is that all of their lines looked very agronomically sound and were easily converted to new trait platforms,” Schultz said.
While he was looking at GDM, GDM was looking at Mustang Seeds.

“They interviewed a number of seed companies. After doing their interviews, they felt Mustang Seeds was the best fit,” Schultz said.  With the company’s growth over the last five years; a loyal customer base in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota as well as a market footprint from Montana to Wisconsin; an established production, storage and distribution system; and a compatible business philosophy, Mustang Seeds had much to offer.

“Customer choice was key for both companies, and that was the biggest factor,” Schultz said.
In the end, the seed conditioning, warehousing and delivery systems were separated out of Mustang Seeds and a new company was launched, which will remain a Schultz family business — Red Horse Seed Production (RHSP), Inc.

According to a press release, Justin Wise will serve as the general manager of that company, which will have Mustang Seeds as a primary customer.  Schultz emphasized that customers will not see a difference in Mustang Seeds. They will have the same choices they have had in the past and will be served by the same people.  “We keep our customers in the front of our minds in selecting products,” he said.
The GDM influence will be seen later this year when Mustang Seeds plants the first local research plots so area farmers can see how those products developed by GDM fare in this region. These new products will be integrated into Mustang Seeds’ breeding platform over the next two or three years, and the first new products will be available in 2020, according to Schultz.

He is excited by the work being done by GDM because it results in a product that is not classified as a GMO. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are believed by some to be the cause of the increasing incidences of food allergies and other health problems such as Crohn’s disease.  “They are using gene editing to actually take a gene out of the plant, make it better, and it’s still considered a non-GMO,” Schultz said.  He believes this is beneficial to both growers and customers. As a result of the process used, they will be able to introduce new seed traits more easily, Schultz explained. This ensures the genetics will yield.

“Yield comes from the factor of the best genetics,” he indicated, not the traits as some people believe.
“The best genetics create the yield for farmers,” Schultz reiterated.  Because of the new partnership, Mustang Seeds will be able to deliver exclusive new products to area customers. Farmers won’t have to wonder whether the seed available from another company is essentially the same product.
In a press release on Friday, the company describes the partnership as “a first for Mustang Seeds” and “a milestone for GDM.”  “The future is bright with Mustang Seeds and GDM joining forces, and I am excited for the future,” Schultz is quoted as saying.  Ignacio Bartolome‚ also expressed his pleasure at the partnership in the press release.  “Through Mustang Seeds’ in-depth knowledge of the American producer and its vast distribution network, GDM will deliver the best genetics to the American farmers. We both share a vision and commitment to our customers and their growth.”

Mustang Seeds Forms Partnership

Madison, SD, March 1, 2019– Mustang Seeds, Inc. and GDM are pleased to announce we have entered into an exciting joint venture to bring the newest genetics and innovative technology to expand our seed line-ups.

“Our customers profitability and their needs have always been the number one focus of Mustang Seeds. This partnership with GDM will allow Mustang Seeds to deliver exclusive, new products to our customers,” said Terry Schultz, CEO of Mustang Seeds. “The future is bright with Mustang Seeds & GDM joining forces and I am excited for the future.”

This joint venture will be a first for Mustang Seeds, a family owned seed company and a milestone for GDM, also a family owned seed company. In a market that is consolidating, the two companies developed a plan with the ultimate goal of developing products and service for the American farmer. Mustang Seeds sales and office personnel, along with Red Horse Crop Insurance and Coyote Seeds, will continue to deliver the quality of excellence our customers rely on.

Ignacio Bartolome, US & Canada Business Director of GDM Seeds states, “We are very enthusiastic about our partnership with Mustang Seeds as we are confident it will bring exciting opportunities to the market. Through Mustang Seeds in depth knowledge of the American producer and its vast distribution network, GDM will deliver the best genetics to the American farmers. We both share a vision and commitment to our customers and their growth.”

Along with this joint venture, the Schultz family has created a new company, Red Horse Seed Production, Inc. (RHSP). Justin Wise has accepted the role as General Manager of RHSP. The operations and distribution of all seed products for Mustang Seeds and Coyote Seeds will be the primary focus of RHSP, just as it has been for Mustang Seeds for over 55 years.

For more information about both companies you can visit their websites at www.mustangseeds.com and www.gdmseeds.com.

Pictured:  Terry Schultz, CEO Mustang Seeds and Ignacio Bartolome, US & Canada Business Director of GDM Seeds

Mustang Seeds Hires Ken Packer

Ken Packer has been hired as a District Sales Manager in Barnesville, MN covering the following counties in South Dakota: Roberts, Marshall, Day and Grant along with customers he has worked with in the past. Most recently Ken worked for Wilbur-Ellis in Wahpeton, ND as a branch manager and he is a producer in Barnesville, MN. Ken and his wife Andrea live on Ken’s grandparents old farm southwest of Barnesville, MN. Andrea works as a paralegal at a law firm in Fargo, ND and they have two children; Evan who is 13 and Taryn who is 8. Ken stated, “I am excited to work with a family owned company that is committed to selling quality products that fit our area, combined with exceptional service that grows long lasting relationships.”

“Ken comes to us with 19 years of sales experience and 18 years of retail experience. He will be an excellent addition to Mustang Seeds. Ken’s leadership skills, passion and knowledge fit perfectly with Mustang Seeds mission.” says Terry Schultz, owner and president of Mustang Seeds.

You can contact Ken at kenpacker@mustangseeds.com or 701.640.2762.

Mustang Seeds has a complete line-up of seed corn, soybeans and small grains suitable for growers in the upper Midwest. Mustang Seeds prides itself on exceptional customer service and offering a wide range of products to fit any farm.

Mustang Seeds hires Nate Hoffmann

Nate Hoffman has been hired as a District Sales Manager in Starbuck, MN covering the following counties: Pope, Stevens, Douglas and Grant. Nate graduated in December of 2018 from the University of Minnesota Crookston with a degree in Ag Systems Management with an emphasis in Precision Ag and minor in Ag Business. Nate will be married to his fiancé, Megan Kokett in June of 2019. Nate stated, “I am excited to work for Mustang Seeds, a family owned company that can give farmers the traits and the service that they want for their operation.”

“We’re very excited to have Nate join our team at Mustang Seeds. Nate’s experience will not only benefit Mustang Seeds, but his knowledge will help the growers better their farms.” says Terry Schultz, owner and president of Mustang Seeds.

You can contact Nate at natehoffmann@mustangseeds.com or 320.805.0282.

Mustang Seeds Hires Scott Erickson

Scott Erickson has been hired as a District Sales Manager in Ada, MN. Scott graduated from Ada-Borup High School and worked for a local ag company. Scott started in sales and was most recently the Inventory and Operations Manager.

“The Ada area has always been a great area for farmers and the demand for our products has continued to grow. For that reason, we knew adding Scott to our DSM team would be a great help to better serve the farmers and dealers in his area” says Terry Schultz, owner and president of Mustang Seeds. “Scott obviously knows the Ada area and we’re excited to have him join the Mustang family.”

Scott was born and raised in Ada and is raising his 2-year-old son, Deklan. Scott stated, “I am proud to work for a locally owned family company. Since I grew up in the area, I look forward to working with my friends and growers in the area to help them maximize their growth potential.”

Scott will be based in the new Mustang Seed warehouse located in the Ada Industrial Park. This new warehouse was recently opened and will be a full-service facility for all Mustang Seed customers. Mustang Seeds has a complete line-up of seed corn, soybeans and small grains suitable for growers in the upper Midwest.

Mustang Seeds Hires Tim Rotert

                                                  MUSTANG SEEDS ANNOUNCES THE HIRING OF A
Tim Rotert joins Mustang Seeds

Mustang Seeds, a family owned independent seed company based in Madison, SD is proud to announce the addition of Tim Rotert to the Mustang Seeds team.

Tim Rotert has been hired as a District Sales Manager in Mitchell, SD. Tim graduated from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD with a degree in General Agriculture and a minor in Agronomy. He then started as a Sales Agronomist in Flandreau. During his college years, he interned in Wessington Springs and then later returned to work there as a Sales Agronomist. Tim and his wife, Megan, have a 7-year-old daughter named Kierra. Tim stated, “I am excited to get back to a family owned business that offers hometown customer service with nationally recognized products. I am excited to meet with the area farmers since that’s where my passion for the business began – by working with a family friend on their farm.”

“We’re very excited to have Tim join our team at Mustang Seeds. Not only is he a great addition to our team, but we know he’s going to be a valuable asset to the farmers in the Mitchell area.” says Terry Schultz, owner and president of Mustang Seeds. “He’s already shown us he’s ready to go to work to make sure he takes care of all the growers and dealers in his network.”

Mustang Seeds Announces New Location in Ada, MN

Ada, MN, September 14, 2018– Mustang Seeds, a family owned independent seed company based in Madison, SD is proud to announce a new location to open in Ada on September 19. The press and city are invited to the grand opening of Mustang Seeds on September 19.

The event will take place at 903 West 1st Ave. S in Ada between 5:00 P.M. and 9:00 P.M. Guests will be treated to free food and prizes and the opportunity to meet with Mustang Seeds staff and President, Terry Schultz. The seed company has been supporting area farmers for several years and the new location will allow the opportunity to continue growing their area footprint.

“We’re very excited to be serving the growers and dealers in the Ada, Minnesota area with Bulk Seed and treating capacity” says Schultz, owner and president of Mustang Seeds. “Being in Ada is going to be a big benefit to our dealers and will enhance our services and convenience to the customers around the area.”
Mustang Seeds was founded over 55 years ago and has over 200 dealers positioned throughout their trade territory of Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota.

More information on the company can be found at mustangseeds.com or by contacting the local Mustang Seeds district sales managers Jay Merkens at 218-415-0987 or Scott Erickson at 218-368-5314.

Mustang Seeds Hires Jay Merkens, DSM in Ada, MN

Mustang Seeds is proud to announce the addition of Jay Merkens to the Mustang Seeds team.

Jay Merkens has been hired as a District Sales Manager in Ada, MN, covering the following counties: Polk, Clearwater, Norman, Mahnomen, Hubbard, Becker, Clay, Wilkin, Otter Tail, Wadena and Todd. Jay has been involved in agriculture while growing up north of Ada, MN. He worked in sales for Liebl Ag in Ada where he sold seed, chemical and liquid fertilizer. After being sole to Pinnacle Agriculture, Jay stayed on as operations manager for 1 year. “Jay’s experience will not only benefit Mustang Seeds, but his knowledge will help the growers better their farms,” commented Terry Schultz, Mustang Seeds President. Jay and his wife, Ann, own and operate a bar and grill in Ada called Pub 21. They have a son, Joel who lives in Walker, MN; and a daughter, Alexa, who is going to college in Moorhead, MN. Jay stated, “I have been working with Mustang Seeds as an independent dealer since 2012. Now as a DSM, I look forward to meeting area farmers and dealers to help them get the most out of their operation.”

Mustang Seeds named Presenting Sponsor at Norman County Fair

ADA, MN — The Norman County Fair, Ada, Minnesota is pleased to announce Mustang Seeds as the presenting sponsor of the Agricultural Education Center.

Terry Schultz, second generation President of Mustang Seeds states, “Mustang Seeds understands the importance of emphasizing true leadership, personal growth and education! That is why we are excited to team up with Norman County Fair as the Agriculture Education Sponsor, where the region takes pride in their community and encourages a positive environment for young and old alike.”

Mustang Seeds employs over 60 people, with 5 warehouse locations in South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota. In 2018, Mustang Seeds will be celebrating 55 years of being a part of the seed industry. Over those 55 years Mustang Seeds products have been planted in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.  With headquarters in Madison, South Dakota, Mustang Seeds is dedicated to giving back to the local communities that support one of their missions of building long lasting relationships.

Longtime Ada resident, Mark Brownlee, Mustang Seeds District Sales Manager, has been a significant supporter of the Ag Education Center and realized the impact this center has in the Norman County area.  “The fair board and volunteers have put a lot of time into this project and we are happy to be involved at this level and are proud to give back to a community that supports us”.

The Norman County Fair will be held June 20-23, 2018 and will be celebrating the expansion of the Mustang Seeds Ag Education Center.  Emphasis is placed on educating the visitors of the Fair as to where their food comes from, the lengths our local producers take to ensure the safety of our food and fun facts about the Norman County region.

“Local, regional and out of state support of the Ag Education Center has really grown in the past couple of years.  We are very grateful for the support of those who have given of their time, talents and dollars to bring this project to this level”, said Norman County Fair Board President, Don Merkens.

New for 2018 will be the Bee Healthy exhibit that will focus on the importance of pollinators and how this affects those in the Norman County area, including the growers and the consumers.  Other exhibits scheduled in the education center include live farm animals, crop displays, hands on activities and educational demonstrations.

The Mustang Seeds Ag Education Center will be open from 10 am – 8 pm daily during the annual event.  The Norman County Fair will be held June 20-23, 2018 in Ada, Minnesota.  For more information, visit the website at www.normancountyfair.com.

Mustang Seeds receives 2017 LAIC Growth and Achievement Award

The Growth and Achievement award is announced annually at the LAIC’s Annual Meeting. It is awarded to a company that displays their abilities to to preserver, create jobs, facilitate job growth, leadership and/or facility growth.  Mustang Seeds, the recipient of this year’s award has persevered for 55 years – since Ray & Marlys Schultz developed the Mustang Seeds brand in 1963.

Mustang Seeds’ commitment to customer service is the establishment of Red Horse Crop Insurance.  Red Horse Crop Insurance offers customers guidance on insuring their crops.  With all the of the seed expansion and Crop Insurance expansion they knew they had to build new offices.  Construction was completed in January 2018 of their new office building.  The building consists of 16 offices and a large conference room.  With the growth that Mustang Seeds has experienced in recent years, they created a space to be more efficient for their customers and dealers.   We’re very proud to have a business-like Mustang Seeds in the area to receive this award as they are a growing business a fantastic employer and fantastic community supporter. – Paul Schultz, LAIC President

Congratulations to Mustang Seeds on their continued commitment to the community through the growth and expansion of their new office building.

Mustang Seeds Opens New Headquarters in South Dakota

Mustang Seeds, a family owned independent seed company based in Madison, South Dakota, is proud to announce the grand opening and ribbon cutting of their new office headquarters.

Construction began July of 2017 on a new 6,900 sq. foot office building. Construction was completed January 2018 and consists of 16 offices and a large conference room that can accommodate up to 100 people. Mustang Seeds has experienced tremendous growth over recent years and to create a more efficient experience for customers, the office staff was consolidated into one location. Mustang Seeds employs over 60 people, with 5 warehouse locations in South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota. In 2018, Mustang Seeds will be celebrating 55 years of being a part of the seed industry. Over those 55 years Mustang Seeds products have been planted in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa. It is the mission at Mustang Seeds to continue to provide choices for our customers, by offering a variety of seed products including corn, soybean, alfalfa, pasture grasses, oats, native grasses, cover crops and sorghum. The company considers producer choices the driving force for our business model at Mustang Seeds. In 2017, Mustang Seeds established its own crop insurance division known as Red Horse Crop Insurance. Corey Strom, who has 15 years’ crop insurance experience and 6 years of seed sales experience is the leading agent. His physical office location can be found in the new office building.

“It is an exciting time to be growing a third-generation family owned seed company,” says Terry Schultz, President of Mustang Seeds. Terry’s father, Ray, developed Mustang Seeds in 1963 and Terry joined the company in 1993. “Customers are on the top of our mind in building a more efficient office to help us serve them to a level of excellence they deserve.”

We Are Moving

The new office building is nearing completion. All office personnel will be moving to 1021 SW 10th Street the week of January 22nd. Please be patient with us as phone calls will be forwarded to cell phones and internet may be down.   We will do our best to answer calls and emails ASAP.  Just a note, that the small grain, cover crop, grass seed purchases and deliveries will remain at our Washington Ave. location.  We will host a ribbon cutting/open house at a later date!

Mustang Seeds Profiled in Seed Today Magazine

South Dakota seed company provides a variety of choices to customers.

President Terry Schultz says Mustang Seeds wants to enable its customers to make the best choices possible. The company has been selling seeds in South Dakota and surrounding areas for 54 years. It offers a range of seed products, including corn, soybean, alfalfa, pasture grasses, oats, native grasses, cover crops, and sorghum.

To read the full article – click here.