Buyer Beware

Here‘s what often happens to that seed. ( Lindsey Benne )

Policies for returned seed corn vary by company. Here‘s what often happens to that seed.

Put To The Test

Companies typically run it back through their internal evaluation and conditioning processes, which include warm and cold germination tests. Seed meeting the company’s standards is then made available for purchase and replant the following year. This is standard in the industry.

Blend With New Seed

In some cases, if the germination percentage is slightly below quality standards, a company might opt to “blend returned seed with fresh corn to bring germ percentages back up where they need to be,” notes Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist.

Sell Online Or To Ag Supply Store

Then there are those plain white bags you can sometimes buy online or at an ag supply store. Often, this is seed corn a company brokered to someone else to sell because it didn’t meet the company’s brand quality standards. Remember it’s nearly impossible to take an inferior, low-yielding product and turn it into something of high value.


A company might donate poor-quality seed to a conservation organization to use as ground cover or to plant for wildlife feed.


Other companies opt to incinerate seed corn they deem is of substandard quality to ensure it stays out of production, and your fields, altogether.