Keldin new winter wheat coming out this fall

Northern Seed, with its merger with WestFeeds, now has eight locations that offer one-stop shopping for crop and livestock producers.

The company doesn’t just market and sell several top varieties of certified small grain and feed seed – they conduct their own research testing located at their high-tech research center in Bozeman, Mont., according to Ron Ueland, owner of Northern Seed, LLC, based in Butte, Mont.

“The industry has excellent wheat breeders who are breeding varieties of hard red winter wheat that will thrive in Montana’s climate,” Ueland said. “Our research center personnel are very mobile and travel with equipment to many research plots across the state to screen varieties for performance.”

Ueland said the future of wheat genetics and breeding is “just phenomenal.”

“We can bring out new varieties that give producers what they need on their own farms faster than ever before,” he said.

Northern Seed LLC, recently acquired Montana Seed and Grain, and WestFeeds of Billings. Northern Seed’s other seed locations across the state include Butte, administration; Bozeman, research; Fort Benton, Shelby, Conrad, and East Pondera County.

The company is dedicated to making sure there is enough availability of certified seed in the state to meet the needs of producers, so expanding into more locations was vital, Ueland said.

“We are excited about putting together a crew with experience and knowledge at all our certified locations. Our goal is to bring the best high-quality certified seed to Montana producers so they can be successful and profitable,” he said.

Ueland explained that certified seed brings more peace of mind to producers.

“There is just more peace of mind with certified seed. The yield and quality advantage are unparalleled with certified seed, and producers are seeing certified seed as an investment because of the higher return,” he said.

Jake Baum, supply chain manager at Northern Seed, agreed, saying certified seed is key to a producer’s success.

“With certified seed, the producer knows it is clean, highly pure seed that comes with quality assurance because it has been thoroughly inspected,” Baum said. “There’s less risk with certified seed.”

In addition, the producer can be assured of a seed count to get the correct seed population, which could make the difference between a good yield and a so-so yield, he said. With bin-run seed, producers are making a guess, and they could be underseeding or overseeding, he added.

“Either way, it costs money. Planting the correct seed count for the right population at seeding is the only chance we have to get it right. After that, it is done. If you have stands missing later on, there is nothing that can fix the problem, and that is money lost,” Baum said. “There is consistency with certified seed.”

Baum also likes the fact that producers can easily plant a couple different varieties with certified seed to see what works best on their farm. They only have to buy the seed they need for the fields they want to plant, so they aren’t forced to use all bin run seed, and never get the opportunity to find new, exciting varieties that might work better or have better yield.

“There are so many new options open to growers with certified seed,” Baum said. “Because of these options, demand for seed is rising substantially.”

Baum talked about their research center and how they research and test lines from all over the world, including Germany and France and from Nebraska and Colorado in the U.S., among other lines.

“We have WestBred, Syngenta and MSU varieties, along with surrounding state land grant universities, in our testing,” Baum said. “We want to find the best varieties to meet the specific needs of producers wherever they farm around the state.”

Keldin is their new winter wheat variety with German parentage and licensed to WestBred.

“It is hollow-stemmed and a high-end yielder with good test weight intended for fallow acres,” Baum said, adding it has a fit for both dryland and irrigated producers.

Other exciting varieties at Northern Seed include:

– Two-gene Clearfields like Syngenta’s Clearstone.

“Yellowstone is one of the most popular winter wheats in Montana because of its high yields, and Syngenta’s Clearstone is Yellowstone with the Clearfield double gene, therefore Clear-Stone,” Baum said. The two gene Clearfield varieties give producers a higher success rate when it comes to handling difficult weeds like cheatgrass and goat grass, he added.

Baum said producers are asking them for more Clearfield varieties because it means less weeds and cleaner fields.

“We hope to have a two-gene wheat stem sawfly variety in the near future, that would act as a tool for producers who fight both grassy weeds and the wheat stem sawfly,” he said.

– WB 4059 CLP is a winter wheat from WestBred with the Clearfield Plus technology that has early maturity and excellent standability, Baum said. It also has very good protein and outstanding yield potential.

“It is very short and very early, about five to seven days earlier than Yellowstone,” Baum said. “With being that early, producers can start harvesting it first, and then move on to other, later maturing varieties. It spreads out the harvest.”

In addition to meeting the needs of crop producers with high quality certified seed choices, Northern Seed also wanted to make sure the feed seed needs of livestock producers were met, Ueland said.

Northern Seed expanded into the feed business last fall, acquiring a majority interest in WestFeeds of Billings, said Ueland, who grew up on a cattle ranch, so the forage needs of producers was a major field of interest for him.

“We are thrilled about what we can offer livestock producers,” Ueland said.

In addition to providing excellent forage and other feed seed, WestFeeds offers animal nutritionists who will work one-on-one with livestock producers on the right forages to grow on their pastures or fields, he said.

“Livestock are a huge investment for producers, and it is so important for us to offer the right grass seed and feeds for top animal performance,” Ueland said, adding they have varieties of oat hay, feed barley and even cover crops, which can renovate ground and be grazed by cattle.

Ueland explained that the entire feed seed business is maturing.

“There are more plant genetics available than ever before in the right forages and pasture mixes to meet the nutritional needs of livestock,” he said. “With the staff of Westfeed’s beef specialists, we should be able to match the right seed varieties with the nutritional needs of a rancher’s herd.”

Baum also talked about seed treatments, and Northern Seed will treat the seed with just the right amount of fungicide or insecticide a producer needs.

“Producers can lose money applying their own seed treatment because they can only go by their eye as to the right color. They easily can over-apply or under-apply what they really need in a seed treatment,” Baum said.

Want to see more? Northern Seed holds field days at all their locations and everyone is welcome to come out and view their plots.

For more on Northern Seed, visit one of the locations or contact Baum at 406-781-2340, or Ueland at 406-782-4670.

Original Prairie Star article can been seen here.

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