"We have a retail seed business, and we're also seed growers and processors in south central Saskatchewan. Our main customer base right now, overall, when you look at total seed sales that we're doing, [...] probably 80% of our sales are to cowboys, ranchers, and organic farmers. But, our growing segment [...] is organic and livestock producers."
"Organic guys, their problem is declining soil quality. Weeds is a big problem. Weed populations have really risen. Soil quality has drastically declined to, like, just terrible, terrible levels. They're looking for options. They're looking to get rid of weeds. They're looking at getting yields up, improving soil quality, and they're willing to spend money to do it, where the old-school guys would not spend money. So, the organic industry has taken a big, big turn. There were a few genuine good organic growers, always even back in the day 25-30 years ago, but all the young guys coming on now want to do a better job. And what they're all telling me is if they can't find the tools, and if they can't find the products to do it, or the know-how, the technology, wherever it comes from. Whether it's in a jug, or in a piece of equipment, or rotational study, whatever it is. If they can't glue it together, they'll get out of it. Because it's a business."
"With the organic farmer, all you have to do is say:
"Do you do tillage?"
Easy answer: “Yes"
"Are you disturbing the rhizosphere around the root?"
"Okay, how are these soil organisms supposed to stay alive, and how are they supposed to properly colonize a plant root in the disturbed system?"
"Well, they won't"
"So, then if you can add it, why wouldn't you?"
And then, for them, it's no brainer.
"If it cost me four bucks an acre more to actually get something that frees up water and immobile nutrients, for four or five bucks an acre. Hey, I only have so many inputs I can use on an organic farm that are actually registered, why wouldn't I capitalize on the registered product and use it?"
And then you have to sit down and explain to them how [mycorrhizae] work. That, you know, it's because of tillage that's disturbing the system, and it's a bug that's native in our soils, and we're just trying to get more of it in."
"So, biocontrol of weeds, biocontrol of insects, [...] biology for crop growth, nutrient uptake, [...] water usage. Yeah, there's a big bright future in this, and the conventional guys are catching on to it, because their margins are tighter. So, I think we have to show them that there's going to be new ways of growing that crop, with maybe thirty bucks an acre less spent. More sustainable, right. And the organic guys, it’s a no-brainer. Just, yeah, you give me yield, give me a product. "
Retail Seed Business – Hickseed Ltd.