Episode 9

Published on:

17th Jun 2024

The Seed Business With Charlie Cahill

Charlie Cahill developed his knowledge of dryland farming during the 1990s, ultimately becoming what one nominator called “the go-to guy” for information on agronomic practices and seed genetics in the region. A graduate of Montana State University, Cahill has served on the board of the Montana Seed Growers Association and helped create the pulse checkoff program in Montana, which allows growers a voice in how their contributions are invested around the state.

“Farmers traditionally have been used to being able to keep and trade their own seed amongst other growers, and this has been going on (for) an exceptional amount of time. Well, if you don't have money to actually go into the breeding programs, you don't get new stuff. And if you look at all of the crops that have money in them: corn, canola, soybeans. We spend a lot of money for the seed, but at the same time, you'll notice we also get really neat stuff.” - Charlie Cahill

Cahill joins the show to talk about the current state of the seed industry in Montana, some inside information on the seed business and what’s driving seed choices, and trying to bring together market demand and producer needs into a valuable and profitable seed technology. 

“The demand right now is far outstripping the supply on (lentil) seed.  We are probably one of the largest sellers of lentil seed in the United States and we're sold out at the moment, and our production was okay. So that gives you an idea.” - Charlie Cahill

This Week on Growing Pulse Crops:

  • Meet Charlie Cahill of Cahill Seeds, and learn about the history of pulse seed production in Montana
  • Learn about some of the drivers of pulse crop seed development
  • Hear more about what buyers of pulses are looking for in genetics in the future
  • Discover what it’s like be an independent seed producer

Growing Pulse Crops Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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About the Podcast

Growing Pulse Crops
The science and business of farming field peas, chickpeas, and lentils
This show features the latest in research, agronomy, and economics of pulse crops (peas, chickpeas, lentils, etc.).

Demand for these nutrient-dense, high-protein foods continues to grow. There is also interest from farmers to include more pulses into diverse rotations for benefits like nitrogen fixation and soil health.

But the industry continues to face challenges, and we are eager to address these head on. So if you’re a pulse grower or in any way interested in these important crops, hit subscribe and stay tuned for future episodes. We’ll be back with plenty of information about challenges pulse farmers are facing throughout the U.S. and what solutions are working.

Brought to you by the Pulse Crops Working Group with support from the North Central IPM Center and USDA NIFA.

About your host

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Tim Hammerich

I share stories about agriculture, agtech, and agribusiness on podcasts and radio.