Our customers have to compete with the seeds we supply them. To supply the best genetics, we have invested in research and development focused on this market, with four disciplines:
- Field Testing
- Laboratory analysis
- Contract genetic research for Breeding Programs
- Plant Breeding
We have a mobile team that travels the market planting, managing, and harvesting test plots. We work with many breeding programs to test their elite varieties early in their commercialization process. From these early test plots we are able to determine the best varieties coming down the pipeline. We then are able to coordinate with these breeding programs to get their parent seed in place, and the seed propagation process begins. We can also use these test plots for producers and processors to view, to gain more insights on what varieties they want to request. This Northern Seed testing program is managed by Craig Cook, a research veteran who formally ran WestBred’s testing program based out of Bozeman, Montana.
Northern Seed is Montana’s only seed company with its own private research center. It is located in Bozeman, Montana and has an analytics laboratory within it. Not only does this laboratory analyze grain varieties for protein and milling qualities, but it also analyses grains and forages for their forage values, to service the Montana livestock industry as well. This Lab is managed by Angelia Suffridge, a former lab manager for Monsanto’s WestBred division.
Contract Genetic Research for Breeding Programs
Staffed by Dr. Dale Clark, Racey Padilla and Matthew Bobbitt, proven plant breeders, the research center team is contracting with multiple breeding programs to improve their genetics. Under contracted material transfer agreements (MTA’s) the Research Center is able to perform scope of works that allows for a more efficient development of genetics for this adapted local market.
With this complete team at the Research Center we are also able to perform our own breeding. Northern believes there are niche markets that lose out to the priorities of bigger breeding programs. Thus, Northern has identified some niche markets that it will develop varieties to supply that food need.