WINCHESTER — Fire up the bratwursts. You know that fall is here when seed-company reps foray into the furrows at various field-plot events across rural Ontario to extol the virtues of the latest hybrids offered by their brand.
Typically lured from their farms by a free lunch sizzling on a nearby barbecue, prospective clients socialize in the fresh autumn air, rolling fresh kernels between their fingers and scribbling notes in small booklets while the seed seller delivers his earnest pitch in rubber boots. Arrayed in the background, a long row of snappy white signs sits at soil’s edge, each denoting a hybrid in an acronym-laden jargon that wouldn’t look out of place on a license plate.
The time-honoured scene repeated itself Sept. 15, as dealers for Hyland Seeds in Monkland (Jamieson Campbell), Finch (Finch Feed & Seed) and Winchester (Dundas Feed & Seed) held their plot day just outside the latter village.
Eastern Ontario district sales reps Cliff Metcalfe of Inkerman and Craig Carson of Prince Edward County took turns speaking about a dozen Hyland varieties planted along Baker Rd. — split evenly between silage and grain-corn hybrids.
"We’re out here just to expose our products," Metcalfe told The AgriNews, adding that sales "have been increasing quite dramatically" for Hyland Seeds, a private, family-owned company.
It’s also an all-Canadian company, said Metcalfe, who emphasized the importance of that fact for growers based in Canada. "We have Canadian genetics."