Occasionally, I and others at Burpee are asked about our alleged connection to Monsanto and whether we sell GMO seeds. We have even been accused of being Monsanto property on the internet. I have decided to formally address these issues and false claims in the hope that someone in cyberspace can refer to this post for information on these issues, straight from the source.
For the record, I own W. Atlee Burpee & Co. Burpee is NOT owned by Monsanto. We purchase a small number of seeds from the garden seed division of Seminis, a subsidiary of Monsanto, like our main competitors. We do NOT sell GMO seeds, never have in the past and will not sell them in the future.
I recently got a call from a Chicago blogger named Mr. Brown Thumb. This was a "first". Most bloggers want to be journalists. But strangely, they adamantly ignore the rules of journalism, like contacting sources and checking facts. Not so Mr. Brown Thumb. His diligence in taking the time to do research for his blog is highly commendable. Despite the ambiguous title of his post, I really appreciate that he had the courage to ask the tough questions and took the time to study my answers.
With a few exceptions, minor errors in names and dates, Mr. Brown Thumb (Ramón González) right. He's the real deal."
I'll add a little background. Our brilliant founder, W. Atlee Burpee, innovated vegetable seeds and plant selections for the Americas, on old European varieties that did poorly in such a different summer climate, from the 1870s until his untimely death in 1915. Many years later, his son David lost a major asset in the emigration of Oved Shifress, a key producer of tomatoes and squash to Israel in the late 1940s. He hired a new plant breeder named Howard Peto, a second-class Canadian immigrant generation. Mister. Peto grew many fine tomatoes, peppers and melons during his five years with the company. David Burpee moved it to California to open a year-round grow center for the western US climate and save on research and seed production by avoiding the Pennsylvania winter.
Shortly after establishing Burpee's new operations in California, Mr. Peto began to divide his time between home gardening and raising for the so-called truck market, medium and large farmers who truck their produce to urban markets. He also wanted to breed for juice and canned tomatoes. But Mr. Burpee did not want to breed for consumers other than the home gardener and local small farmer.
Therefore, Mr. Peto left the Burpee Company in the mid 50's and started his own company. His first tomato was 'Wonder Boy', an inferior imitation of 'Big Boy', the famous home garden hybrid bred in 1948 by Oved Shifriss of Burpee, which Mr Peto replaced. Mister. No doubt Peto used his "horticultural knowledge" to start his commercial tomato seed business in California. However, he left the Burpee Company amicably. Those were the "old days" when agreements and disagreements were commonly resolved with a handshake.
Mister. Peto's replacement at Burpee was Paul Thomas, who grew many fine tomatoes in the late '50s and early '60s before moving to California to join Mr. Peto. Thus, "Petoseed" became a supplier of some high quality open pollinated and hybrid garden vegetable seeds. (However, all candidate varieties had to be tested at Fordhook Farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which is still the case.) Soon many more garden seed companies bought not only Burpee, but also Petoseed, companies as diverse as Ferry-Morse, Park's, Gurney's, Johnny's, Northrup King, and Comstock-Ferre. Burpee and Petoseed together dominated the growing of consumer home garden vegetables in the 1960's. The only difference between the two companies was that Petoseed also bred for commercial ag growers on the West Coast, while Burpee focused strictly on the home gardener. But in keeping with industry tradition in those days, the best-tasting tomato in a "blind test" wins, and Mr. Burpee often bought varieties from Mr. Peto, as well as naturally grown tomatoes and with Mr. Thomas' replacement, John Mondry.
Petoseed was then purchased in the late 1960s (1968 I think) by my uncle, G. Victor Ball, assisted by my father G. Carl Ball, his vice president at George J. Ball, or "Ball Seed," as he was known. at that time - a company founded in 1905 by my grandfather, a very enterprising flower grower. Our small flower seed company suddenly became a large flower and vegetable seed company while I was in boarding school.
The late David Burpee, whom I met as a teenager while working on a seed farm in Costa Rica, later dealt with my uncles and then my father after my last uncle partially retired. Today my sister Anna Ball owns this company, now known as Ball Horticultural. So that's the background of the facts.
But the past that some people are extremely focused on has to do with my father's desire to sell Petoseed, with the approval of his brother (my uncle), as well as many family members, such as a brother, sister, aunts, and cousins, for a businessman from Mexico named Alfonso Romo Garza. Mister. Romo, as it's called, started with baked goods and later branched out into packaging, cigarettes, beer and insurance. He even founded a business school in Monterey in the late 1990s modeled on Wharton, all before he turned 40. He was and still is an impressive businessman who at the time wanted to diversify out of cookies, crackers, beer, tobacco and others. , in vegetables, fruits and grains. He appeared on Page 1 of the Wall Street Journal shortly before the transaction in the mid-1990s (circa 1994-1995). His vision was to help the growing population of small and medium farmers mainly in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.
Through these ownership changes, however, Petoseed was always the same: an extremely well-run company, made up of many Burpee breeders and managers, and headquartered in Ventura County, Southern California. It remains so to this day.
In 1994, my father, the late G. Carl Ball, asked me to help him part of the transition by serving on the board of the new Mexican company, Seminis, made up of Petoseed and several other independent companies, Mr. Romo bought. to a small watermelon breeding company in Texas to the leading corn grower, Asgrow, of Kalamazoo, Michigan. I turned about a year old and then left to focus my efforts on Burpee, which I had purchased, first with my family in the early 1990s, and then from my family in the late 1990s. As president of Burpee, I naturally continued to produce seeds as I have for my entire career, but I also bought any company that could do better than me, including my old friends, and former colleagues, at Petoseed, now called Seminis. (This is the core of my business philosophy: Sell only the best.)
In the early 2000s, Mr. Romo decided to divest all of his non-Mexican seed holdings for his own reasons and sold Seminis first to an investment bank, which then sold it to another investment bank, which then sold it to another investment bank. sold it to Monsanto in mid-2000, around '04 or '05.
This sale came long after Petoseed was started in the mid-1950s by a former Burpee tomato grower whose tomatoes continue to be loved by home gardeners across the country, such as Paul Thomas' 'Better Boy'. The list of companies that buy from Seminis' vegetable seed division, now a very small business of Monsanto, is long and includes most sellers of high-quality seeds, as well as Burpee. At Burpee we never refuse to serve our customers the best quality home garden vegetable varieties we can grow or find, and some of the latter include varieties of Seminis. All are still tested at Fordhook Farm in Pennsylvania.
Finally, it is extremely important to note that when Monsanto purchased Seminis, neither Burpee as the company nor I, George Ball as the owner, had any financial ownership or interest in either company. That's the way it was when Monsanto bought Seminis and that's the way it is today. Burpee continues as a private company and as I wish to emphasize, along with other leaders in the home gardening industry, we source suitable seeds from Seminis and other companies that adhere to the strict guidelines that we maintain and require of all our suppliers for you, our valued customers from family orchards and small farmers. If we can't raise and produce the seeds or plants ourselves, we look for someone who can.
On behalf of the entire staff of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., thank you for 135 years of patronage and for future consideration of our many varieties of fine vegetables and flowers, whether grown by us or by our valued suppliers throughout the world. .
Our goal is to help everyone enjoy the rewards of home gardening, no matter where you live or how large your backyard.Are burpee seeds good quality? ›
Successful plant hybridizing by Burpee has led to some of the best vegetable and flower seeds for American growers. Burpee also acquired The Cook's Garden 10 years ago, and now offers some of the best gourmet veggies, greens, and herbs from around the world.What is the germination rate of burpee seeds? ›
Burpee Stringless Green Bean Seeds for Planting, 50+ Heirloom Seeds Per Packet, (Isla's Garden Seeds), Non GMO Seeds, Botanical Name: Phaseolus vulgaris, 85% Germination Rates, Great Home Garden Gift. Amazon's Choice highlights highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately.What company owns Burpee Seeds? ›
In 1991, the Burpee company was acquired by George Ball, Inc., a diversified horticultural family business. The new leadership diversified the business by selling new and unusual varieties; more plants than seeds; opening its own retail stores in 2000; and utilizing its web store to boost business.What is the main purpose of seeds? ›
Seeds of most plants are the very means of survival of the species. They carry the parent germ plasm, variously protected against heat, cold, drought, and water from one growing season that is suitable for growth of the species to the next.What are the 3 main aims of the seed project? ›
They work in three main areas: breeding new strains of open pollinated plants; producing certified biodynamic and organic seed; and sharing knowledge and skills about seed saving, plant breeding and the importance of seed and food sovereignty.Which company is best for seeds? ›
- Advanta India Limited.
- Ajeet Seeds Pvt. Ltd.
- Agro Biotech International Exports Pvt. Ltd.
- JK Agri Genetics Limited.
- Andhra Pradesh State Seeds Development Corporation Ltd.
- Kalash Seeds Pvt Ltd.
- Nirmal Seeds Limited.
- Krishak Bharathi Cooperative Ltd (KRIBHCO)
At Burpee, we guarantee you will receive the best quality plants. We provide uniformity in all the plants we ship, and we package all plants securely for safe transit.What is the highest quality of seeds? ›
- Breeder /Nucleus - 100%
- Foundation seed - 99.5%
- Certified seed - 99.0%
Spinach, lettuce, parsnip, and corn seeds are generally only viable for about a year; bean seeds may germinate after two years. The seeds of many squash varieties are often good for three or four years.
Day 5 - Root starts to split into multiple nodes. Day 6 - Seed may begin to open up and allow the plant stem to start moving up.What plant seeds take the longest to germinate? ›
The scientific name Water lotus is Nelumbo nucifera. It has the longest duration of germination viability.Who is the largest seed company? ›
Gates is also heavily invested in collecting seeds from around the world and storing them in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault — aka the Doomsday Vault, created to collect and hold a global collection of the worlds' seeds.What is the oldest seed company in the US? ›
Landreth Seed Co., founded in Philadelphia in 1784, is the oldest seed company in America. When David Landreth started his company, he was not focused on the heirloom seeds that the company is known for today. Instead, he sought to protect seeds and ensure they remained true to their mother plant.What are the 3 types of seeds? ›
Types of Seeds: Heirloom, Hybrid, and Open-Pollinated Seeds.What are the 3 main parts of a seed? ›
The seed is the embryonic stage of the plant life cycle. Most seeds consist of three parts: embryo, endosperm, and seed coat. The embryo is a tiny plant that has a root, a stem, and one or more leaves. The endosperm is the nutritive tissue of the seed, often a combination of starch, oil, and protein.What are 3 seeding techniques? ›
There are three different methods of sowing seeds: stripe seeding, point seeding, and broadcast seeding. Choose the right method for you depending on the type of vegetable being grown and the location where the seeds are to be sown.What are the 3 key things a seed needs to start growing? ›
The beginning of the growth of a seed into a seedling is known as germination. All seeds need water, oxygen and the right temperature to germinate. Dormancy is a state of suspended animation in which seeds delay germination until conditions are right for survival and growth.What does the acronym seeds stand for? ›
My physical therapist used the acronym SEEDS to represent five vital elements for good health: Sleep, healthy Eating, regular Exercise, Drinking water, and Stress management.
It's official: beans, peas, and pumpkins are among the top ten easiest plants to grow from seed, according to a list created by the Home Garden Seed Association. Also on the list: cucumbers, zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, lettuce, radishes, and squash.What are the best seeds to save? ›
Tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas are good choices for seed saving. They have flowers that are self-pollinating and seeds that require little or no special treatment before storage. Seeds from biennial crops such as carrots or beets are harder to save since the plants need two growing seasons to set seed.What is the common mistake in burpee? ›
Dropping your hip way too low: This is one of the most common mistakes that people do while doing a burpee. When they get down they drop their butt way too low which hampers the posture and can also lead to lower back pain.What are the issues with burpees? ›
Burpees require significant upper-body strength, specifically from your shoulders, and because most of us aren't at that level yet, we perform the move with bent elbows and asymmetrical shoulders. This stresses the tendons and ligaments in your upper body, says DiSalvo, and can lead to back and shoulder injuries.What are the disadvantages of burpees? ›
Injury Potential – A lot of people risk injury to their wrists and anterior shoulder muscle because of bad burpee form or due to prior injuries. It's important to learn the proper technique before attempting it and avoid pushing yourself too hard.Do seeds expire? ›
Seeds just aren't meant to sit in a little envelope on your shelf year after year. Seeds will only go "bad"—in the way that bread gets moldy or milk curdles—if those seeds are exposed to moisture while being improperly stored and begin to develop mold or rot.What is poor quality of seeds? ›
The following are symptoms of poor quality seeds: low germination, mixed varieties, low plant vigor, diseased plants, or the introduction of weeds. seed source may be discolored. seeds may be of different sizes and varieties.Are 20 year old seeds still good? ›
The truth is seeds don't expire. They lose viability if stored improperly. While most seed companies will tell you to replace seeds every 2-3 years, those seeds will keep for decades and will germinate when planted if kept in a cool, dark, and dry place.Should I store seeds in the fridge? ›
Keep seeds out of direct sunlight in a cool spot that maintains a fairly consistent temperature. Consider a cold closet, a basement, or a room on the north side of your home that remains cool year round. Freezing isn't necessary for short-term storage, but you can refrigerate seeds, provided they are sufficiently dry.Can expired seeds still grow? ›
So, will expired seeds grow? Yes. Plants grown from expired seed packets will grow to produce healthy and fruitful harvests, just as their younger counterparts.
The time you need to keep your seeds in the refrigerator depends on the variety, but 4-5 weeks should be a sufficient amount of time for most seed varieties. Once there's no more chance of frost in your area, take your seeds out of the fridge and spread seed on bare soil as normal.How many days should I water new seed? ›
New grass should be watered twice a day (or more under dryer conditions) to keep the top two inches of soil moist at all times. Water daily until all of the grass seeds have germinated, then it will be ready to begin a regular watering schedule.When should you throw out seeds? ›
All seeds will be viable for one to two years. After two or three years, germination rates will drop for many types of seeds and will eventually fall to zero. So, stocking up on seeds for an “emergency” isn't a good idea because they don't last forever.How can I speed up seed germination? ›
One easy way to make seeds germinate faster is to presoak them for 24 hours in a shallow container filled with hot tap water. Water will penetrate the seed coat and cause the embryos inside to plump up. Don't soak them for longer than 24 hours because they could rot. Plant the seeds immediately in moist soil.What is the most difficult seed to germinate? ›
Some seeds like Allium 'Purple Sensation' and Eryngium giganteum need a long period of cold-moist stratification with alternating temperatures. These are the most difficult seeds to germinate.Is too much heat bad for seed germination? ›
Most seeds will germinate over quite a wide range of soil temperatures but the speed of germination will vary. Too cold and they'll be very slow to sprout and too hot will also reduce the speed of germination. Far too cold or hot and they'll just fail.What seeds sell the most? ›
Chia seeds are one of the most majorly exported seeds, given that their production is limited to a few geographical areas. The chia seed market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period of 2022-2027.What is the oldest seed company in the world? ›
The D. Landreth Seed Company is an American seed company founded in 1784 by David and Cuthbert Landreth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Who owns most seeds in the world? ›
BASF, Bayer/Monsanto, ChemChina-Syngenta, and Corteva Agriscience are the four big corporations that currently own the rights to over two thirds of the world's seed and pesticide sales.What are Monsanto seeds? ›
Monsanto was the world's largest seed company and owned over 80% of all the genetically modified (GM, also called genetically engineered) seeds planted around the world.
Gates cited plant-based food alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, as well as the food technology startup Upside Foods, which uses animal cells to manufacture meat in a lab setting, as essential steps in the effort to reduce the consumption of animals.Who are the largest seed dealers in the US? ›
They are often called "The Big Four." BASF, Bayer, Corteva and Syngenta now dominate the sales of agricultural seeds in the United States.What seed company does China own? ›
ROME, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Chinese-owned agrochemicals giant Syngenta has appealed to an administrative court after Rome blocked its attempt to buy Italian vegetable seed producer Verisem, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.What is the largest family owned seed company? ›
Beck's Hybrids is the largest family-owned, retail seed company in the United States.
The value of the seed is actually the profit potential in that seed. Profit potential is your bushel potential, less the cost of your seed. The cost of the seed is set before you plant, but the bushel potential is created after the seed goes in the ground.What is the objective of seed marketing? ›
Seed marketing should aim to satisfy the farmer's demand fore reliable supply of a range of improved seed varieties of assured quality at an acceptable price.What is Johnny's selected seeds mission statement? ›
What is Johnny's Selected Seeds's mission? Johnny's Selected Seeds's mission statement is "To fee one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information, and service."What is Pioneer seed mission statement? ›
We strive to produce the best products on the market. We deal honestly and fairly with our employees, customers, seed growers, sales force, business associates and shareholders. We advertise and sell our products vigorously, but without misrepresentation.What is the best explanation of seeds? ›
The seed is the embryonic stage of the plant life cycle. Most seeds consist of three parts: embryo, endosperm, and seed coat. The embryo is a tiny plant that has a root, a stem, and one or more leaves. The endosperm is the nutritive tissue of the seed, often a combination of starch, oil, and protein.What are 2 facts about seeds? ›
A seed contains a miniature plant, called an embryo, that can develop into a fully grown plant. The outer shell of a seed, called a seed coat, protects the embryo. Inside the seed a nutritious material provides food to the embryo. In flowering plants this material is called endosperm.
- Higher genetically purity:
- Higher physical purity for certification.
- Possession of good shape, size, colour, etc., according to specifications of variety.
- Higher physical soundness and weight.
- Higher germination ( 90 to 95 % depending on the crop)
- Higher physiological vigour and stamina.
Broadly, it includes such activities as production, processing, storage, quality control and marketing of seeds. In the narrow sense, however, seed marketing refers to the actual actual acquisition and selling of packed seeds, intermediate storage, delivery and sales promotional activities.What is seeding marketing strategy? ›
Seeding marketing, thus, is basically the method where brands strategically place relevant content in the form of media, blogs, infographics, offers or deals, etc., in digital and physical places so as to attract consumers and get them interested in their brand.What does seed marketing depend on? ›
Seed marketing is based on needs of the farmer. These are reflected in production planning, pricing, promotion, seed distribution and receiving feedback after sale.What is the good seed initiative? ›
By generating and increasing access to scientific knowledge, and delivering change through development projects we work to improve crop yields, combat agricultural pests and microbial diseases, protect biodiversity and safeguard the environment, which enables the world's poorest communities to feed themselves.What is the seed pledge? ›
The Safe Seed Pledge
We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats.
Rob Johnston - Founder - Johnny's Selected Seeds | LinkedIn.What is seed stewardship? ›
The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship covers the safe handling and transport of seeds, as well as the storage, planting and disposal of treated seeds.What is the history of pag seeds? ›
P.A.G. Seeds became a division of Cargill in 1971 or 1972 and the brand name changed to Cargill Seeds in 1987. It was then bought by Dow Agrosciences in 1998 and merged with Dow's existing brand, Mycogen, to form Dow Seeds.Who bought Pioneer Seed? ›
(a hybrid vegetable seed producer) in exchange for Pioneer's vegetable seed operation. 1997 DuPont acquires a 20% stake in Pioneer and the companies form a joint venture called Optimum Quality Grains LLC. 1999 DuPont purchases the remaining 80% of Pioneer for $7.7 billion.