Farmers Business Network says its seed brand, F2F Genetics Network, has grown to be on almost 1,000 farms in 2019. And to lead the division forward, the company has hired Matt Foley to be General Manager of FBN Seed Brands. This is after the departure of Ron Wulfkuhle, who helped launched the seed products for FBN in 2018.
In making the choice to join the FBN team, Foley says, “we provide an opportunity with F2F Genetics that hasn’t been available before.”
Foley brings more than two decades of experience in the seed industry to FBN, and he previously worked at Dow AgroSciences and AgReliant Genetics.
So far in 2020, the company reports that delivery is moving along. Their production is all U.S.-based, and they are making hundreds of deliveries a week right now.
“We came off a year of good results. The spring is shaping up quickly, and we think it could present us with opportunities if we are able to move fast. Since there was a late harvest, there are a lot of decisions left to be made,” Foley says.
Foley thinks they can grow the seed business substantially this year.
“This is unlike any other year I’ve seen–typically you can move your business by 10% and this year will present opportunities for that to be many times higher,” Foley says.
For 2020, FBN will launch new seed products and hire for new positions to grow the seed division. Conventional corn has been the No. 1 product for F2F to-date. This year, the company is offering its first post-patent bt corn product.
“We will have seed ambassadors who will work with growers on F2F test plots, and we want board geographic coverage in dozens of geographies,” says FBN co-founder Charles Baron.
Baron says the company was proud of its first-year results showing 72% of fields yielding higher net income with F2F than compared to other seed. He says that return averaged $27/acre more compared to other seed brands.
According to Baron, by December 2020 seed sales had “very considerably” surpassed 2019. Right now, the company says it has 10,700 members—but not all members are eligible to be F2F Genetics customers as about 10% are members from Canada where the division does not currently sell.
One tactic FBN has deployed for their business is their hub strategy–partnering with members to lease warehouse space and provide delivery and pickup options.
“We have over 80 hubs that are operational,” Baron says. He explains most hubs currently focus on crop chemistry products right now, but he sees this distribution method as a growth opportunity for seed.