The Curry Seed retail division was acquired by DuPont/Pioneer during the spring of 2008. This represented the first purchase of a competing seed corn brand in the USA by Pioneer. The Curry Seed Brand was expanded at that time to sell Curry Brand Soybeans. The brand has experienced a 20% plus compound growth rate since 2008. We are able to offer great personal service and training, a unique regional based seed line-up, all backed by one of the largest seed companies in the world.
The Curry Seed Beginnings:
J.J. Curry went to Iowa State College in 1918-19, as a 26 year old farmer that was looking for new ideas to bring back to his southeast South Dakota farm that his family homesteaded in June of 1861. As a young farmer, JJ Curry attended college to better his agricultural knowledge. At that time the college offered “winter courses” that allowed farmers to take courses during the winter months.
JJ Curry attended a winter course at Iowa State College, (now known as Iowa State University), in 1934-35 in which the new type of seed corn was being introduced. This new seed corn featured a ‘hybridization’ of the corn plant. Before this new development, farmers used open pollinated corn selected from the prior seed corn crop-called ‘bin run’ seed.
The new seed corn featured a cross pollanization of the female parent plant by another corn plant the male parent plant, that was used only to fertilize the female ear of the female plant. This is possible with the corn plant since the male part, the tassel, is separated from the female part, the ear, so the tassel is easily removed. With the tassel removed, the female is open to receive pollen from the male plants that have tassels with pollen. The results of using pollen from another plant created a higher yielding seed for the farmer.
In 1935, JJ Curry sold some of these new hybrid corn seeds to farmers to be tested against their ‘bin run’ non-hybridized seeds. The results were immediately evident, as farmers saw an increase from 30-40 bushel per acre average to up to 50-60 bushel per acre.
The Curry Seed Corn business was off and running.
Because the seed corn female part had to be separated from the male, the plant had to be detasseled pulled off, by hand, the seed corn required more hand labor and expense. Also, the farmers had to plant new seed every year, in order to get the benefits of hybridization.
JJ Curry started selling seed to all the neighbors and expanded production. His sons, Jim and Ed, joined the company in the early 1950’s and continued selling seed corn, with the expansion into the three state area of SD, IA and NE. The 1970’s experienced an irrigation expansion, especially from center pivots. The development of irrigation in the 70’s and 80’s led to record sales of Curry Seed. The early 1980’s, James son, Kevin, along with Ed’s two sons, Bill and David joined the company and increased expanded sales areas and production capabilities.
Curry Seed expanded its corn research with the patenting of inbred corn lines developed for their sales area in the 90’s. With this regional advantage among its line-up, Curry Seed expanded its seed corn sales. With the breakthroughs in seed traits in the early 2000’s, Curry aligned its seed research and development with Dow, Syngenta and DuPont/Pioneer.
In 2008, Pioneer announced that the Curry Seed Corn Brand was purchased from the Curry family. The continued specific seed research has proven that regional selected seeds are able to make a sizable improvement over national lines. The Curry family continues to raise hybrid seed corn at Elk Point, SD. Bill Curry’s son, Brian, is the fourth generation to raise seed corn. The Curry family continues to expand since 2008 with the addition of warehouses, seed corn dryers, and a rebuilt conditioning tower.
Bill, David, Kevin, and Brian continue to work for the Curry Seed Brand. They look forward to the ever expanding group for farmers using Curry Seed.