Who Supplies Seeds?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by ceresone, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The seed companies we order from--who grows their seeds? do they have their own test fields? or do they have Tom/Dick?Harry grow for them? reason i'm asking, another post made me think of this--seems a lot of my heirlooms have not produced true , last year, probably as much as 75 percent--so, why am I worried about saving/crossing seeds-if thats what I'm buying? Anyone know the truth?? :shrug:
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    There are some companies which that have both regular and commercial divisions and supply many of the smaller companies. Many catalogs have bulk prices just for that purpose. One of the big "heirloom" suppliers, and offenders, is Seed Savers Exchange. Their public catalog has some tomato seeds listed with a 5,000 seed price. What's listed in that catalog is only a portion of what they offer in direct communication with seed companies. Of course, when something goes wrong it is the last seller who gets the blame. For example, SSE mixed up some Speckled Roman for Amish Paste or v.v. several years ago. When the wrong variety began to be reported, a lot of gardeners were surprised to find where their favorite companies were obtaining their seeds!

    There are also some companies which only grow for bulk or non-catalog sales. An example is Ferry-Morse which has various field stations in my immediate area. They are usually quite reliable and go so far as supplying neighboring farms/gardeners with free seeds to assure no possible crossed material.

    Then there are some "heirloom" companies who contract their growing out to even smaller operations. Again, I know of whom would be considered average gardeners who supply seeds for such as Fedco and Pinetree. A friend here in Wisconsin raises a number of tomato varieties for Fedco. I'm sitting here with a full pint of a certain tomato variety. A small Internet company could have fun with that!

    Back to mixed or crossed seed, SSE does seem to have had more than their share of mistakes over the years. I've had 2 such experiences with their tomatoes although I was one who did get the correct Speckled Roman and Amish Paste. I got red fruit rather than black from one Nyagous plant and red instead of yellow from Wapsipinicon Peach.

    Does this help answer the question?

    Martin
     

  3. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    As a further explanation, most seed companies, unless they own land in various places (both within the country and out) do not have the right environmental conditions for growing seed crops. Some like it hot, some cool, some dry, some humid. That is why they contract out a lot of seed production.
    Once you get true types and want to save seed, you need to follow strict guidelines, depending on what type of veggie you are growing, to isolate your crop so it won't be cross-pollinated, either by distance from others in the same category, or by using a screening structure. Those whose pollen is wind blown are another challenge and the screening won't help generally.
    Ann
     
  4. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    Alot of seed companies are owned by only a few big companies at the top. And they are in the process of making it hard to have true seeds. Some of the heirloom seed companies are ligiitemate. The ones owned by the big seed companies work under several smaller seed company names. They don't want to have heirloom seeds. They want to make a sale every year to you.
    On the heirloom seeds not growing true. Is this your first year with the seeds? Or are these seeds saved from the year before? Did you take the proper precautions to make sure your seeds off the produce would grow true the next year? It is a pain but you have to do it right to save the seeds. It only takes one or two of the fruits/veggies saved off a good plant to make more than enough seeds for next year.
     
  5. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    I think most seeds are produced by Monsanto in China.
     
  6. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    no, the seeds that didnt grow true were ordered from heirloom seed companies- i dont save my seeds, because i like to grow a variety of different types, and know mine wouldnt grow true. now, if i only grew one kind of whatever it was, i'd save seeds.neighbors are few and far between here-
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so!

    Martin
     
  8. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    You're full of it, too!

    Martin
     
  9. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    <<I think most seeds are produced by Monsanto in China.>>

    And here I was just going to use the eye-rolling smiley :rolleyes: :)
     
  10. the mama

    the mama loves all critters Supporter

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    :hobbyhors
    There was a letter in Countryside a couple of issues back, about the ownership of many seed companies. They are being bought up by large seed companies and if we are not careful, there will be a stangle hold on what seed types are offered, mostly GMO. That way seed saving is illegal. :nono:
    Try to keep these small companies, order from them even if they are alittle higher in price. I look for the companies that have their own test gardens. :)
     
  11. Zebraman

    Zebraman Well-Known Member

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    Hey Guys;Monsanto just recently bought out Burpee Seeds (Largest Seed Supplier in the World).Monsanto has been doing this World Wide for years.After they buy out a company they have a bad habit of discontinuing OP seeds and just offering hybrids and PVP varieties.When they own the worlds supply of seeds they will be able to charge what ever price they choose.Think Enron.-
     
  12. IowaLez

    IowaLez Glowing in The Sun Supporter

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  13. Zebraman

    Zebraman Well-Known Member

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    Hey Guys;This Has Been All Over The AP Newswire.And if there was Truth in Advertising Nobody would Buy Anything!-
     
  14. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Actually, AP newswire service must travel a little slow at times or their smoke signals get blown the wrong way! And, there's always the 10% that never gets the word! Since it wasn't "sensationalist journalism" at the time, it was no big deal. Monsanto didn't buy Burpee, Seminis did! Burpee should not even be around now. They filed for bankruptcy 5 years ago, 2001. Seminis bought them and worked a deal to allow everything to be run as is and it's continued to be that way. When Seminis found themselves in a bit deep financially, they too became available to anyone with the money to bail them out. Mr. Ball had originally been Board Chairman of Petoseed since 1995 and then a Director of Seminis after Petoseed went bankrupt and purchased by Seminis. Monsanto bought Seminis in January 2005. That would mean that Burpee has been a part of the Monsanto combine for 23 months! Just now it's newsworthy? Burpee has apparently managed quite well in the 5 years that it's been under Seminis management.

    Now if Monsanto is buying something that they already have owned for almost 2 years, THAT would be news! I can't locate it anywhere at www.ap.org so it would appear that this "re-release" was timed for when all of the seed catalogs were arriving. If so, no doubt orchestrated by some smaller struggling seed company hoping to grab a few more customers from Burpee.

    Martin
     
  15. IowaLez

    IowaLez Glowing in The Sun Supporter

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    So far I haven't seen the quality of their seeds go downhill over the last five years. I love Burpee's carrots and bush beans for refinedness and taste. And their Earliana cabbage is wonderful, early, and easily grown in a wide bed in a smaller space than others. At least many famous Burpee varieties are still available. Yes, their catalogue offering has shrunk over the years, but so have many outfit's. I like to grow some things other than heirlooms, too.
     
  16. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    You are quite correct, Lezlie. There has been no reduction in quality at Burpee's since Seminis purchased them in 2001. What is slowly being phased out has happened throughout the seed industry. They are some of the low-sales hybrid items formerly supplied by the Petoseed combine. "Died from lack of interest!" With Petoseed no longer in business, it wasn't just Burpee being unable to offer the seed, no other company could get them. Seminis has taken up the slack and has been releasing some nice varieties in the past few years, both hybrid and open/self-pollinating. Hybridizing is so labor-intensive that we may see fewer and fewer new such varieties offered in the future. Saying that, however, the 2007 Burpee catalog is supposed to contain 60 new items.

    Martin
     
  17. IowaLez

    IowaLez Glowing in The Sun Supporter

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    Martin,

    I offer dwarf blue jade sweet corn through the SSE yearbook. My seed originally came from Burpee. It was a big deal in their catalogue when it was a new item. Is that where SSE/Heritage Farm got their dwarf blue jade corn from, too? Do you know anything about it?
     
  18. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Burpee as supplier for that is quite possible. SSE first offered Blue Jade in their 2004 public catalog. There is a source where one could find that information but I no longer have access to it. There is an "in house" bound print-out which is at least 2" thick. It contains the description of every variety that is held at Heritage Farm and where they got it from. The last time I saw it was 7 December, 2004 when we were looking for some varieties which were supplied by Jung's.

    In the SSE Yearbook, you are the only one offering it in recent years. Not in the 2003 and 2004 editions. First listed by you in 2005 with 2001 Burpee source. It would appear that Heritage Farm would probably have gotten some about that same time in order to have worked up enough seed to offer it to the public in 2004. Still in the 2007 catalog so it must be popular.

    Martin
     
  19. Zebraman

    Zebraman Well-Known Member

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    Hey Guys;Monsanto OWNS Seminis!-
     
  20. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :rolleyes: Which was already stated four or five posts ago. :rolleyes: