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Why is native seed SO expensive?Growing and cleaning native seed species is a complex and financially risky process. First, a remnant source for starter seed has to be identified & accessed... this is especially difficult in Illinois where less than 1/2 of 1% of the original prairie remains in tact. Second, the starter seed must be collected, cleaned, and seeded in plots on land procurred by the grower. The plots must be maintained free of weeds, invasive species, and other roaming natives. Depending on species, it may take 5 years before a plant begins producing seed. Once a plot begins producing seed, the seed must be collected, dried, and cleaned. Unlike traditional agricultural crops where bushels upon bushels of the same seed is cleaned by equipment designed specifically for that crop, we are cleaning more than 100 different species of seed with various sizes, weights, and shapes... and we're having to adapt the use of traditional agricultural seed cleaning equipment to the native seeds we process. Finally, once we have the seed cleaned, it's time to send it off for testing. The grower pays for each lot of seed produced to be tested for purity and viability, a cost the producer takes on before any of the seed is sold... if the lot tests poorly all of the growing and collection have already been performed. Due to the expertise required in order to grow and process native seed successfully paired with the financial risk a grower takes on, the cost of native seed may be high when compaired to the seed of other comodities.
How many years have you been in business?We became a company in 2016
Where are you located?Our farm is located in SW LaSalle County, our cleaning facility is located in Ottawa, IL (LaSalle County).
What is Illinois native seed?Illinois native seed is the seed produced from plants known to have occured in Illinois prior to European settlement and have an evolutionary connection with the other native Illinois biota.
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