Latham® Corn Seed: Your Passport to Quality

Corn BagBy the time Latham Hi-Tech Seeds offers a new corn hybrid, the number of places it has traveled in its developmental process is pretty “a-maize-ing.”

Let’s look at the developmental timeline and how your bag of corn seed gets so many frequent flyer miles. It can take at least five years to create a new hybrid with a new seed parent. These new corn lines like to travel. As a breeder, I become the travel agent coordinating their travel plans.

What are some of the popular destinations for these lucky kernels? We use fields in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile and Argentina. By using these countries, we can plant fields year-round to accelerate our development process. In some cases, we can get three growing seasons in one year.

We use these locations to develop new parents, remake successful hybrids, create new experimental hybrids to test each year and produce hybrid for new releases. No one country can efficiently meet all our needs, so using multiple locations allows us to do different processes to deliver a new product to you.

Your family uses passports to travel and gets inspected by the TSA to get on the plane. A corn family needs similar documents for travel. The difference is that your family typically can travel and get into a country within a day. Each seed shipment we send or receive needs its own inspection and unique documentation, depending on where it’s going. Seed is further inspected upon arriving at its destination. This trip can take up to a week or more if its paperwork isn’t accepted. Delays can affect whether the seed arrives home in time.

The next time you look at a bag of Latham brand hybrid seed corn, know that it might have as many airline miles as you do. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way to collect and use those frequent flyer perks!

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