by KC Kinder, Freelance Writer
It has been said that a man has not truly lived until he has lived for something.
For the founders of Spectrum™ Premium Non-GMO seed, Linden, IN, no truer words have been spoken.
Formed in 2008 by men truly committed to providing innovative, independent products, Spectrum operates on the foundation of developing premium Non-GMO corn seed to contribute to more sustainable farming. Their corn hybrids do not contain genetically engineered, or “GMO traits.”
Scott Odle, President; Scott Johnson, Corn Product Manager; Dave Ballenger, Seed Production Manager; and Ed Baumgartner, Technology Manager, work together to provide what many companies cannot: Hybrids carefully selected to provide an alternative for growers striving to become more profitable and more sustainable.
Odle says the joining of these men was nothing short of divine intervention.
About the company
Spectrum obtained license agreements in 2008, produced hybrid seed thereafter, and is now in the company’s fourth sales season.
For 2014, Spectrum offers a robust line-up of 20 premium corn hybrids optimized for Non-GMO production systems. Yield, plant health, standability, and drydown are on par with, if not improved, to their GMO counterparts from the major companies.
Hybrids are carefully selected to provide an alternative for growers striving to become more profitable and more sustainable.
The case for Non-GMOs.
Spectrum offers much data on the profitability of their hybrids, and also provides a calculator on their website (spectrumseed.com) to run the numbers for yourself.
“There are a few key considerations to make the most of a hybrid’s potential, and this includes rotation,” Odle says. “Crop rotation and mode-of-action rotation are critical to slowing the development of difficult-to-control weeds and resistant insects.”
“Too much of anything is bad, and we believe in rotation,” he says. “We also believe in the slogan, ‘GMO traits without pests are a yield drag.’ If you don’t have rootworm, it may seem insignificant, but you likely have yield drag.”
Spectrum sources the most current genetics from major corn suppliers, and utilizes private breeding programs to diversify and enhance product offerings.
How Spectrum is different.
Spectrum Seed is different, in that Non-GMO breeding, discovery, and production is all they do.
In addition, Odle says, many other companies don’t run their own breeding programs, as Spectrum does. “We make use of diverse breeding locations in western Indiana, western Iowa, and even Puerto Rico.”
Ed Baumgartner, the Spectrum technology manager, is based at Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico and provides Spectrum with a rich base of native genes to be used in products with enhanced stress tolerance.
“We have genetic diversity, not owned by anyone else,” Odle says. “We only produce Non-GMO seed. And we have flexibility that many other companies do not have within their seed genetics.”
Spectrum seed was planted in 36 states this year, and Odle says the long-term goals of the company are not complex.
“We want to be simple and substantial, and provide for our customers,” he says. “We want to encourage rotations to reduce the need for chemicals. And my vision is that we become the largest Non-GMO seed corn supplier in the U.S. And I think it can happen.”
Above all, Odle says, he is content with the path Spectrum has taken.
By continuing on the path and following the divine intervention that has served them well, Odle believes the future is bright. And, without a doubt, the men of Spectrum will continue to live for all in which they truly believe.