INSIDERS    |   Seed Processing & Handling   

Paradigm shi fts are necessary in every industry. It’s not good enough to just change what we do and how we do it. Change over the long term requires us to alter how we think about the industry we work in. Developing new seed technology is an area that increasingly requires us all to change how we perceive the present and think about what’s to come.

As a result, seed qual ity becomes more important than ever. As the industry strives for reduced reliance on traditional chemistries, strong seed becomes crucial for field emergence and yield stability. State-of-the-art technology must be geared toward the preservation of seed quality, and the reduction of seed loss and seed damage during processing.

Less seed production acres are available and commercial production of seed is expensive. Yesterday’s technology won’t do it anymore, as that old technology has become synonymous with the loss of profits.

Taking the industry to this new level has become my favourite part of the job. I’ve learned over the years that experience and knowledge — combined with the courage to challenge old ways and breathe life into new ones — is what sets you apart in this industry.

You have to think differently. Together with customers and suppliers, creating specific solutions that fit today’s and anticipate tomorrow’s needs means the difference between success and failure. Individual kernel processing and analytics in real time has become more important. Precision processing follows precision farming. It sounds like science fiction, but when you think about it, this is the environment we work in every day. Technology moves closer to the field, and takes local conditions, requirements, varieties and just-in-time processing into account.

We already see this with advanced mobile seed plants and sophisticated logistical concepts for ‘satellite’ seed plants, and decentralization of coating service stations. Yes, chal lenges are afoot, but we must keep them in perspective. On the one hand, automation and digitalization means reduction of the labour force in seed plants. On the other hand, expertise and knowhow increases at the plant management and operational levels. University partnerships secure a broad and growing knowledge base.

As part of Petkus, I’ve seen first-hand how knowledge can be harvested from these global networks and channelled through to our employees and customers. These kinds of ideas are the foundation of strong seed and healthy grain, but as has really always been the case in our industry, true progress requires a paradigm shift. It’s never too early — but can often be too late — to change how you think. Don’t be left behind.

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