With the prospect of good yields at harvest, the mood is upbeat at the three-day event called Becknology Days at Beck’s Hybrids. The annual event draws thousands of farm families to the Beck’s campus in Hamilton County. Scott Beck, Beck’s Vice President, said 2014 will be remembered as a very good year for most of Beck’s customers, “The prospect of a good harvest is what most farmers here are telling us.” It has also been a good year for the Indiana-based, family seed company.
With continued expansion of their marketing area, Beck’s is expanding far beyond their Central Indiana roots. Last September, the company began selling seed in Tennessee; and, in February, they announced the expansion of their market area to include Southeastern Iowa and Eastern Missouri. Beck told HAT they have also purchased a new research facility in Iowa, “We have purchased the former Pioneer facility in Mt. Pleasant, IA, and will have it up and running for the next growing season.”
In addition, Beck’s has pioneered and now has exclusive marketing right for the Kinze variable hybrid planter. This allows farmers to plant different hybrid seeds in the same field or even in the same row, to match the right seed to the right soil type and conditions. One of the planters was on display at Bechnology days and was drawing a considerable amount of interest.
At the beginning of August, Beck’s launched their first data product, FARMServer. Beck said this is a product that grew out of the desire to serve their farmer customers, “We see it as a resource for farmers to not only store their on farm data, but to be able to utilize the data over multiple seasons in order to make better agronomic decisions.” Beck feels their product is simpler to use and provides more control for growers over who has access to their data.
But will all this growth change the corporate culture that has made Beck’s one of the few independent seed companies still in operation today? Beck says no, “We have done some things within our company from an employee standpoint to make sure we maintain that culture.” While Beck’s has grown to over 400 employees, Beck says they are working hard to maintain the feeling of community both within the organization and among their customers.