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Agri-Business Briefs for Jan. 11, 2005
Ohio seed company completes three-level processing facility
BRADFORD, Ohio — Warner Seeds recently completed a three-level seed processing facility. The extensive investment represents a long-term commitment to the seed industry.

“Grandpa started in the late ‘30s producing and selling seed,” said Dave Warner, during a tour of the family business near Bradford, Ohio. The third generation includes Dave, his younger brother, Dan and Dan’s wife DeeDee.

Like other family-owned agribusinesses, the Warners formed an alliance with Seed Consultants, Inc. in 2000. Seed Consultants, a regional family-owned company, retails the seed corn for the Warners.

Dan explained, “We plan to be here for a long time. With all the mergers, acquisitions, buyouts and sellouts in the industry, the relationship we have with Seed Consultants was a good match.” Chris Jeffries, president of Seed Consultants, Inc. said, “Warners have made a long-term commitment and are investing money in the seed industry.”

The relationship allows each company to concentrate on its strengths. Dave added. “The alliance enables us to do what we do best - produce and Seed Consultants do what they do best - market, research and test,” he said.

Warner Seeds went from processing 20,000 bushels of seed per year to 50,000. The 50-foot by 60-foot addition with 10,000 square feet is a welcome site to the Miami County family. The new facility will enable the brothers to double capacity. Eventually the family and two full-time employees plan to process 125,000 to 150,000 bushels annually.

A Sortex color sorter uses compressed air to blow out off color kernels.

“With the new equipment we feel we can produce excellent quality seed for farmers. That’s why we run the seed through all these machines,” Dave said.

Monty’s Plant Food Co. named 2005 Agribusiness of the Year
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Monty’s Plant Food Co., a Louisville-based firm that produces foliar-applied fertilizer and soil conditioning products, has been selected winner of the 2005 Agribusiness of the Year award.

The award was presented to company cofounder Montrose “Monty” Justice during the annual Farm-City Celebration Luncheon at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center. The agribusiness award, sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc., recognizes the agribusiness in the 13-county Louisville metropolitan area, which is judged the best in categories such as financial growth, progressive management, employee relations and overall contribution to the farm economy.

This year’s winning company got its start in the garage of its originator, a retired inventory control manager and gardening expert, and in eight years has seen the scope of its business change dramatically.

At the start the liquid plant food product was marketed in small plastic bottles as Monty’s Joy Juice, and aimed primarily at gardeners and backyard flower enthusiasts in the Louisville area. These days, according to the firm’s chairman and chief executive officer Kevin Voss, Monty’s is going after commercial agricultural producers across the country and overseas.

“We think the timing is great for an alternative fertility product like ours,” Voss said, “because farmers are facing unprecedented high prices for conventional fertilizer due to the rising cost of petroleum. Unlike granular fertilizers, our product is shielded from those significant price spikes.”

Monty’s is the thirteenth Louisville-area firm to win designation as Agribusiness of the Year. The award program is administered by GLI’s Agribusiness Industry Network.

Advanced Biological Marketing introduces new soybean inoculant
VAN WERT, Ohio — The makers of America’s Best Inoculant (ABI) recently introduced Excalibre, a new technologically advanced soybean inoculant. The new patented technology is the first in agriculture and is on the cutting edge of genetics. It offers a 2-year shelf life with an extended post-application planting window.

Excalibre is a soybean seed inoculant that offers a safe, easy-to-use way to increase crop yields by up to 4.4 bushels an acre, according to Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM). Excalibre contains a proprietary blend of three strains of bacteria that work in variable soil and planting conditions.

Because of Excalibre’s formulation, seed companies can inoculate soybean seeds 60 days in advance and have them available for when their customers need the product. The shelf life also gives farmers extra time to plant.

“America’s Best Inoculant has been proven to increase soybean yield up to 14 bu./acre,” said Dan Custis, president of Advanced Biological Marketing, manufacturer of Excalibre and America’s Best Inoculant. “Excalibre is simply an encapsulated form of America’s Best Inoculant and continues to provide farmers results.”

Published in the January 11, 2006 issue of Farm World.