BETTY VALLE-GEGG NAEGER
Senior Staff Writer
Mid-America Farmer Grower
Tanner Seed Farms in Southeast Missouri is at the north end of the Mississippi Delta.
“We farm approximately 7,000 acres of soybeans, rice, and popcorn,” said Zach Tanner. “Our family started producing seed in the ‘70s and popcorn in the ‘80s. We specialize in parent seed production. We also are certified seed producers for various seed companies including Horizon Ag and different universities. We produce new varieties and get to see these varieties at an early stage.
"We grew the Provisia PVLO3, Clearfield CLL18 and CLL16 for Horizon Ag this year. They all have good yields and great milling quality. We had a really low seed rate with PVLO3 in 2021 because we were trying to increase this new variety. We had a really good yield considering the seed rate. Our CLL16 is one of our go to varieties for any additional acreage we have because it yields so consistently well.
“We are blessed to have all our farm irrigated. This year from late May through early August we didn’t receive any rain. Our entire crop was brought to fruition with irrigation. Most of our rice is paddy rice, but we do grow some furrow irrigated rice. The CLL16 does lend itself extremely well to the furrow irrigated rice. We currently use moisture sensors on some farms that are scattered so we can get a handle on our current soil moisture. We are about two-third diesel and one-third electric on our energy source on our power units. We have an excellent crew and we are very thankful for that. We could not farm and keep all our pumps going without them.
“My family has a small popcorn business, Fancy Farm Popcorn Co, and we produce popcorn for them. We have a facility that processes and packages the popcorn. We’re SQF 2 rated with a 99 out of 100 score, just a really nice clean small popcorn company. We produce soybean seed for various companies, primarily for Local Seed Company. We produce Group IV soybeans and we try to focus on indeterminate Group IVs that are excluders.
“We do all the scouting ourselves. I feel the best thing a farmer can apply to his field is a footprint. We look at every field every couple of days. We have started using drones this last year. My son, Zachary, in particular has used a drone just to speed things up. We can see if the irrigation has ran through, if there is a break, or if we need to start a rice well. The drone can go to the far end of the field really quick. We also just started using a drone service that does a custom spray application in our test plots.
“My wife, Beckie, and I have three children, Zachary, Kayli, and Luke. Beckie does the accounting and our sons work with me on the farm. Kayli is currently working on her master’s degree in speech pathology. Working with family is a blessing and a challenge.
“I don’t always handle it properly, but I’m trying,” he said with a chuckle.
“Horizon Ag has always been focused on high quality seed. With the right seed rate, varietal yields can be as good as hybrid. Between the quality, the ease on equipment and the yields, I think a farmer might be making a mistake by not trying these new Clearfield varieties,” he summed. ∆
BETTY VALLEY-GEGG NAEGER: MidAmerica Farmer Senior Staff Writer
(From left to right) Zachary, Zach and Luke.
Not pictured is Beckie and daughter Kayli