You looked at several seasons’ worth of yield data, evaluated this year’s harvest and narrowed down your hybrid choices. Then you checked the balance sheet and decided that putting up the money to get the “early cash discount” just didn’t make sense for you this year. So now how are you going to pay for your seed in 2004? Financing programs from Pioneer, Monsanto, and NK Brand Seed offer several options.

DeKalb/Asgrow/Monsanto
The deal: FarmFlex interest-free and low-interest loans

Qualified buyers of DeKalb and Asgrow seed can get 0% financing if they sign up by January 10, 2004. Those buyers who sign up between January 11 and February 28, 2004, can get rates as low as 2.9%. Minimum qualified purchase is $7,500. Repayment due date is November 25, 2004.

For more information, see your DeKalb/Asgrow dealer or contact Monsanto Co., Seed Credit Operations, Dept. FIN, 800 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Mail Zone G5NH, St. Louis, MO 63167, 314/694-1000, or visit www.monsanto.com.

NK Brand/Syngenta Seeds
The deal: “Community Choice” takes 3% off local bank rates.
Community Choice is in its second year as a financing option for NK Brand seed customers. Syngenta Seeds designed this program to buy down the interest rate on growers’ loans from participating local lenders for qualified purchase of NK Brand seed. The program combines the benefits of lower interest rates, usually only offered through company-direct financing programs, with the service of a local lender.

Northern Illinois grower Francis Vormezeele says he likes the program. “My local dealer brought the Community Choice program to my attention. Any way I can save money on my inputs without sacrificing quality is important, and this program saved me another 3% on my NK Brand seed. I like to do business locally when possible. I prefer dealing with people I already know and have a business relationship with instead of a voice on the telephone. The fact that my bank, Farm Credit of Rockford, IL, was already an approved Community Choice lender added convenience for me.”

To qualify, the NK seed order must be at least $7,500 and your NK dealer must send copies of the Buy-Down Agreement before January 9, 2004. For more information, contact your local NK Brand dealer, call Syngenta Seeds at 800/445-0956, or visit www.nk-us.com.

Pioneer/DuPont
The deal: “No-Nonsense Rewards” offers prime rate plus crop protection option.
Customers choosing to finance their seed purchases through the Pioneer Deferred Payment program can get the prime rate through January 16, 2004. After that date, the rate will be prime rate plus 1%. (The prime rate has been at 4% for the past several months.)

In addition, Pioneer customers can go through PHI Financial Services to finance DuPont-approved crop protection products at the same low rate they locked in for their seed. Those customers financing their initial seed purchase through January 16, 2004, are eligible for the most competitive interest rates.

For more information, contact your Pioneer dealer or Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., Dept. FIN, Suite 800, Box 14453, Des Moines, IA 50306, 515/248-4800, or visit www.pioneer.com.

No matter which company’s financing program you choose, be sure to confirm the specific terms of repayment. These can vary by company and by individual contract. Some loans may have collateral requirements. Remember, the advertised rate and terms are the company’s best deal, usually available only to customers with excellent credit. Ask lots of questions, including, What’s the final deadline for payment without penalty? Will I save any money on interest by paying off the loan early?

There’s usually a turnaround time of at least seven to 10 days for processing and approval, so it’s to your advantage to fill out the forms completely and to get them in as early as possible. Don’t assume everything is final once the forms are out of your hands. If a dealer or your banker is handling the application and you are nearing the deadline, it might be a good idea to check back to make sure everything is in order and is being processed.