Picture of things on the cluttered desk of Kyle Steakhouse.

Good service is essential to spring fieldwork planning

Crop insurance ordeal one more frustration before planting begins in earnest.

It has been an ordeal to get crop protection pricing from one of the dealers near my mom’s farm where we have a custom operator. It seems to be a different mentality there. You’re not supposed to ask what the price is. Last time I checked we are in this business to make money.

Maybe it’s the fact that we shop around and want competitive pricing. Maybe it’s that we don’t use them as our exclusive dealer. Maybe because they referred us to a sister branch for seed last year, and they were made our primary dealer. Maybe 185 acres on half a mile down the road is too inconvenient. Maybe it’s personalities. Maybe… I just don’t know. It has to be something.

We were put off in December and we have been put off again the last few weeks. If you don’t want our business, at least have the courtesy return a call and simply tell us that. It truly isn’t a problem. As Purdue’s Mike Boehlje will tell you when talking about his farm: someone will provide product and services where I want them and when I want them, if not I’ll find someone else.

Hard to believe but Dad is actually more lenient than I am. I’ll ask once, maybe twice. If I don’t get a response then I’ll move on. Dad has given this company at least half a dozen opportunities. He even called the sister branch where we purchase seed. The response was ‘I don’t know, each branch is separate’.

I’m sure he’ll drop a note to the company president, but most of the time it doesn’t have an impact.

Seed corn replacements
We also had to replace 100 bags of seed corn this week. It didn’t come in with the right treatment. The dealer gave us the option to overtreat or purchase insecticide. Well, neither was sufficient. Overtreatment has caused problems with our air seed delivery on the planter in the past. It also can reduce the germination.

Some of the corn was ordered in December so there is no reason it shouldn’t be correct. Some was ordered just a few weeks ago, there was no mention of availability issues. We were quoted and invoiced 500 Votivo treatment (mid-rate insecticide with the nematode treatment). The unfortunate part (for the salesman) is that he had just gotten his foot in the door. I picked up the phone and called a different supplier to meet our needs. It isn’t easy to sell us seed, your product must perform, and you must deliver. We also refuse mixed pallets (multiple hybrids on the same skid) and require delivery before April 1st. Apparently those two rules are hard to understand.

I’ve ranted enough today, so I won’t go there.

Be safe out there.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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