Taylor Doebler, president of T.A. Seeds and production manager of Local Seed, seated in his pickup truck
Photo a: KEEPING PACE: “The ag industry is changing every day, and we must keep up with those changes,” says Taylor Doebler, president of T.A. Seeds.

Local independents aim for larger seed market share

Local Seed, formed by two independents in response to major seed industry consolidation, expects to expand network into the Midwest.

There’s a new kid on the seed industry block — a seed company of independent businesses touting local seed. Called Local Seed, it’s the brainchild of the owners of Dulaney Seed and T.A. Seeds, headquartered in Clarksdale, Miss., and Jersey Shore, Pa., respectively.

Initially, Local Seed will serve growers throughout the Northeast, Delmarva and Atlantic Coastal regions, plus the Southeast and Midsouth. This umbrella company based in Memphis, Tenn., is a “direct-to-grower business model that’s a bit unique in some areas of the country,” explains Charles Michell, Local Seed CEO. “The best way to provide our customers the absolute best seed offerings is by locally testing and selecting products sold directly to growers.”

Local Seed owners aren’t affiliated with any national brand. The company will maintain operations at both locations, and plans to capitalize on the power of “local” with a growing network of independent seed companies, adds Taylor Doebler, president of T.A. Seeds and production manager of the new company. “We’ll be looking for other independents, partners to ‘complete the smile’ — the crescent around the central Corn Belt,” he adds.

Local Seed expects to be talking with other independents in states like Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin, plus other seed suppliers and agribusinesses who want expanded access to high-quality seed. And he says, “When you’re owned by one company, you don’t have as many choices and you can’t create discount programs favoring your farmers.”

Key advantages
The plan is to develop a larger network of locally produced seed — doubling production in the next five years, according to Doebler. Local Seed will market a wide range of products: corn, soybean, wheat, cotton, cover crops, rice, and wildlife and habitat crops. That includes genetics currently from major seed companies “plus our own proprietary genetics,” he adds. “We felt this [Local Seed] opportunity was the ideal business decision to benefit us as a company and our farmer-dealer customers.”

“Providing our customers all of the technology benefits of the national industry, while having that local, personally prescribed solution for each customer, is what we’re striving for every day,” says Dulaney Seed President Terry Dulaney. “Now we have additional resources to do that.

“Our seedsmen understand growers’ fields and management practices with the goal of creating value for all parties,” he adds. “Our mission is ‘Quality crafted with care,’ and we’ll live by this statement every day.”

Learn more about Local Seed or inquire about employment opportunities by emailing [email protected].

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