Pickups and grain bins available with three-year seed commitment

Going beyond caps, jackets and free seed offers, Cargill Hybrid Seed has teamed with Farm Credit Leasing on a three-year program to offer pickup and grain bin pricing incentives based on seed purchases. Since the program started in 1999, Cargill and Farm Credit have enrolled more than 1,000 customers.

"We're using our genetics as a platform to bring something with on-going value to the producer's operation," says Mark Winkle, Traits Product Manager for Cargill Hybrid Seeds.

Cargill's target market: large-operation corn growers. "Our primary goal is to develop a long-term, strong business relationship with these key growers," Winkle says. He estimates that it takes approximately 1,000 acres to participate in the program.

The pickup and bin payments are based on the amount of seed purchased by the grower. The more seed purchased, the lower the lease payments. Both Cargill and Farm Credit Leasing have been overwhelmed by the response. "The program's success required a larger financial commitment from Cargill," reports Winkle. "The response is nearly three times our projections."

For 2001, the number of program participants is capped. Mike Kruse, Cargill Hybrid Seeds sales representative in Nebraska, expects his program to be filled by December 1. "There's even more customer interest for 2001," says Kruse, "but it's first-come, first-serve and the program will fill up fast." Kruse's seed customers ordered 41 pickups and seven grain bins last year.

For Farm Credit, it's been a win-win situation. "We've financed 800 pickups and approximately 200 grains bins for $22 million," says Art Blair, Farm Credit Leasing. "The partnership with Cargill has been good business, but the opportunity to reach large producers who aren't familiar with our services is also very beneficial."

Program participants include growers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.