Besides Burpee seeds, what other major seed companies are out there? Also, in this vein, where do farmers buy their supplies in bulk quantities? If Southern States comes to mind, how do I reach them to discuss a large quantity (beyond the level of what is sold at the local store with typical supplies)? Although I am just a residential property owner, buying retail will (a) break my budget and (b) make me fight my big scale gardening problems like fighting a forest fire with an eyedropper.
Farmers buy almost everything they use as close as possible to home, because shipping bulk quantities is expensive. In agricultural communities that I am familiar with, there are local companies that deal in machinery, in chemicals, in irrigation supplies, in bulk seeds, and so forth. Often all these are different companies. They are not going to be advertising to homeowners and hobby gardeners.
I suggest contacting your county extension agent and asking him these questions. Literally, your taxes pay his salary, so make use of his expertise and local knowledge.
Are you in, or near an area with real physical farm stores? It’d probably be worth going in and asking if they have suggestions for what you need. They likely have standing accounts with of suppliers and maybe able(willing is another issue) to add your stuff to another order they make and get the bulk rates.
Every little town throughout the Midwest has a seed and feed co-op. There are hundreds of them still around. Like this one:
If you’re in a rural enough area, farm supply/seed stores will often have bulk seed available for retail purchase, like bean and corn seeds stored in hoppers that you fill a bag from and buy by the pound.
You might also try alternatives to Southern States like Tractor Supply Co., Rural King and the like.
Major seed houses that sell to the public often have large quantity discounts.
On the other hand, if you’re not determined to feed the entire neighborhood, Pinetree Garden Seeds in Maine offers small size packets of seed for considerably less than you’d pay for typical vegetable seed packets.
Farmer weighing in here.
PDF of seed industry structure, which probably isn’t what you’re after, but which you might find interesting:
Are you looking for vegetable, herb, flower, or field crop seed? Or for nursery plants – trees, fruits, etc.? Or for grasses? Or for inputs – fertilizers and such? Or for some of all of them?
And where in the country are you? By “Southern States” do you mean you’re in the southeast USA? (If you’re in the Northeast, I’d send you to Fedco; you might want to look there anyway, depending on what you’re after. They carry a wide range of sizes.)
Some companies carry some of all of the above; some specialize in one or a few. Some cater primarily to particular areas, others sell all over the country or internationally.
I second talking to Extension (if you’re in the USA; if so, your county or equivalent most likely has an Extension office), and to any farm supply stores in your area. And, quite possibly, to your neighbors.
Thanks for the suggestions. I know colleges have “extension services”, but I was not aware there might be similar help from a county agency. Actually, I am seeking an insecticide that I believe is deemed a biologic (Spinosad or Thuricide) and should be more environmentally friendly than most other chemicals.
To clarify, I am in the Mid-Atlantic. “Southern States” is company name of a supplier of farm supplies and one brand of many such products. They also deal in gasoline and diesel fuels for cars and farm equipment. It may be a separate branch of the company. I assume they are still in the petroleum business, but the fueling station by me closed long ago.
Gurney’s Seed And Nursery is still in business.
It’s the same thing. In New York State the university is Cornell, but each county has an extension agency. I believe each state has a similar setup, each with a different university.
First, do you know what the insect is, did you research whether you need to kill it, and if so what the biologic alternatives are? Thuricide is a Bt, Spinosad is much broader spectrum. If a Bt will do I wouldn’t use a broad-spectrum. You need the right Bt for the insect and you need to apply it at the right growth stage of the insect. The particular formulation (of any pesticide) needs to be labelled in your state for the particular organism you’re trying to kill.
Then you can check application rates and frequency, and sort out how much you need.
Maybe you’ve already done all that; but not knowing whether you want Spinosad or Thuricide makes me think that maybe you haven’t.
Under that name, but under different ownership, and current reputation is rather mixed.