Gone are the days when you could put six bags of 50-pound units of soybeans on one side of the planter, and six on the other. Or when you could plant 20 acres to one variety, then switch. The lowest volume most bulk systems carry today allows for 50 units, which would plant approximately 30 acres of soybeans.
Is this an issue or not? Spokesmen for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., don't think so. They're offering lots of bulk options, and are seeing many customers want delivery in bulk. With bigger planters or drills and more acres, bulk handling makes sense. Some of it is still in the 2,000 pound vinyl bags, more today is in the hard plastic box units.
Despite this shift, Pioneer spokespersons say they're still offering a wide number of soybean varieties, and will continue to do so into the future. They don't see that the bulk trend will prevent farmers from ordering different varieties. What it might do is cause them to plant somewhat larger quantities of each variety than they might have planted in the past.
We're not talking variety test plot here. Many of those still use beans in the bag because the quantities are small, If you're doing a plot with a drill, you likely have a vacuum mounted on the back of the drill platform so you can suck out beans of one variety before switching to the next variety.The question here is on bulk acreage, Seed tenders that carry boxes might make it easier to shift varieties than tenders that have either one or two compartments. Many of those hold up to 100 units on a side, if not more. So you're obligated to plant at least that many units, unless you elect to go to the field with a buggy that's not full.