Can you trust seed from big retailer?
Food Plots
Messages posted to thread:
Starfire 12-Jul-18
caribou77 12-Jul-18
buckhammer 12-Jul-18
No Mercy 12-Jul-18
sticksender 12-Jul-18
MK111 12-Jul-18
drycreek 12-Jul-18
nutritionist 12-Jul-18
caribou77 12-Jul-18
Scott Alaniz 13-Jul-18
fastflight 13-Jul-18
stick n string 13-Jul-18
Starfire 13-Jul-18
1boonr 13-Jul-18
Pat Lefemine 13-Jul-18
drycreek 13-Jul-18
Starfire 19-Jul-18
Missouribreaks 20-Jul-18
Starfire 01-Aug-18
RutnStrut 01-Aug-18


So last year I got my seed from the local elevator. They have an Ag guy that orders it up in bulk and then splits it up per acre for all the clients that sign up for his program. You get radishes, turnips, rape and rye for mid August planting. He said you can't trust the stuff you get from Fleet Farm (our local big box store) and its too expensive. Anyway I don't think the stuff I got from him did any better or was any cheaper. So my question is, with certified analysis on the back of each bag and with comparable prices why not just buy off the shelf.


As long as it's the seed you want and prices are similar.... you can buy off the shelf. I've gone both routes, both grow and help attract deer.


Sounds like this guy would be better off selling used cars with his line of B.S.


He's full of BS. There's a reason bags are labeled.


Or better yet, just order from John O'Brion, our bowsite sponsor. For example, I needed 10 lbs of Rutabaga recently, which is a tough-to-find seed in bulk. I didn't have to drive anywhere to get it....couple of clicks on the website and all done. The price was reasonable, it was sent out the same day, and with free Priority shipping.


By: MK111

A BS song and dance can lead to a bad weed problem. I buy for a seed dealer who knows what's in the seed. grandparayoutdoors is a good source.


Frank is on the money ! I got a bad case of pigweed from feed store soybeans. I'm still trying to get rid of them. Weed seeds can come from many sources.


Here is some perspective. I have a wildlife distribution company. I have a seed distribution company and i also test seeds for one of the largest seed companies in the world and they are 1 of the few who develop new seed genetics.

I am not aware of any other company who takes seed off the shelves of dealers every year. Legally seed needs to be retested every year. I am aware of companies who slap stickers over seed that all lots of the seed in the blends were not retested.

Here are the questions people should ask of your seed suppliers. 1) What do they do with seed at the end of each season. 2) Have they failed any seed tests recently? 3)Do they bag their own seed or does others? 4) If they bag their own seed, what facilities do they have? 5) Read a label. Are the labels accurate and up to date.

Some mention coops. I sell to coops and most coops could care less about wildlife seed as it's a tiny fraction of their business and they don't want to deal with the "education" and man power involved with selling wildlife seeds. Yes, i have 2 coops that i take seeds off their shelves and they do have a sales force that cares about wildlife seed.

I am happy to answer any questions people have. The seed world is small. We know who buys rejected seed. We know who bags seed for some of the companies. We also know the games being played. For those who follow me close on social media, you won't see me call anyone out specifically but you might get a hint as to what companies are not always with transparency.

My motto is "see what you buy"


I knew John would chime in. I've purchased from him in the past with very good results.



so you are basically saying that everyone else in the seed business is either dishonest, lazy or incompetent and you are the only one that can be trusted.

There are hundreds if not thousands of folks in the business with as much knowledge as you purport to have, maybe more. To be clear, I'm not questioning your competency, but when you bash others to elevate yourself, it only undermines YOUR credibility.



Scott, I dont see any of these thousands of guys you mentioned posting on bowsite. Until they do, I would trust John's opinion about these topics more than anyone else. How about answering the original posters question rather than bash one of the guys giving information to the OP.


I didnt see any bashing of others. I saw an answer to the OPs question that is pretty detailed because John has the inside info on it. It's like anything else in life, within any group of people you surely are going to have some really good people but overall if the seed companies aren't doing what they are supposed to, then it's about money not about following through the best they can for their clients. and that was the exact question posed by the OP.

It's probably not the biggest deal in the world to have the most perfect seed to plant for what we do as hunters. But the amount of time and effort that goes into putting that seed in the ground, you can bet that my hard-earned money is going to go to somebody who really cares about giving me the best seeds possible and busts his ass to give my sweat and effort the best chance to be successful. As was said above above, you don't see any of the co-op people or big seed company people spending time they don't need to spend to put out information on the subject, do you?


John, I can believe that seed gets re-labeled and not re-tested. Are labels required to have the year on them? I thought I looked for that and could not find a year, because one of my worries with the big box store is how do you know the seed your buying is not from last year (or longer) and been sitting in a warehouse. I checked out your website and might give it a try but I did not see any rye for overseeding do you carry that?

By: 1boonr

You can always find a seed dealer who will order any seed you need and it will be cheaper than buying it from the stuff in the fancy bags. I get my purple top turnips for $2 a pound whereas tall tine tubers are $5.62 per pound. I get ladino clover for $3 per pound and the imperial is twice that. If you ever take the time to do a side by side comparison you will see that there is no discernible difference. It’s all Marketing.


Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

I'll chime in here and back up John. I have been growing food plots for 20 years. I have used virtually every deer head brand of seed ever made. I have had mixed results. Some seeds such as brassicas will last a long time and still germinate well in years beyond the first. Other seeds and blends, particularly coated legume seed that is pre-inoculated, needs to be fresh as the inoculant becomes less effective over time.

Three years ago I purchased a deer head bag and could see the label sticker on the bag was dated and fresh from that year. That was great, until I noticed there was a sticker under it. I peeled off the label and it was from the previous year. But wait! there was a third sticker and that one was from two years earlier! So my fresh bag of deer head seed - complete with a fresh sticker that year was actually 4 years old. I kick myself every year for not videoing it but in all honesty I'm not looking to trash any brands.

Another reason I don't care to buy the deer head brands is because I am very anal about my blends. I like to create my own blends and not rely on what some deer head group throws in the bag. Particularly the ones that contain ryegrass which is just plain stupid. So I like buying my seeds from a distributor like hancock, welter, seedland, or Grandpa Rays and then run them through my precision seeder at the rates I want to plant. This way I am not throwing money away on stuff I don't want to plant - and am assured of getting fresh seed every time.

I have had good luck with some deer head blends. They are not all bad. And it's convenient when I need something in a pinch to run out to cabelas and get something I can run through my hand seeder for some 1/4 acre plot. But generally, I recommend distributors since they generally have fresh, quality seed.


Well said Pat. I'll add just one thing. John will help you in any way he can and has the knowledge to do it.


Thanks everyone for the input. I was at the big box store and looked at the deer head bags and they were this year.... oh wait... nope... sticker over the sticker and those were not relabeled had last years date on them. Out of all the seed only one was this year that did not have an old sticker underneath. So how do they re-test, is it just have to be out of the same lot? I decide to go with my local elevator its mostly less convenient.


Having farmed thousands of acres, I agree with Nutritionist.


Just an update, I picked up my seed from the elevator and it was substantially cheaper than the big box store/deer head brands. I forgot that last year my bill included glycol and fertilizer. The mix is 3# turnips, 2# Radish, 3# Rape to do 1 acre. That is $15/acre compares with Antler King Honey hole @ $48 or Frigid Forage @ $40. I also got a bag of winter rye 56# for $16. I'll let you know how it looks in a couple of months.


So Scott what competitor do you work for? Perhaps you just have a wire up your butt.

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