In this Q&A, NuTech General Manager Brad Damery shares his take on the latest performance jumps for NuTech and why the real value of performance goes far beyond yield.
Performance was really outstanding for NuTech products. What’s behind those impressive results?
The product performance explosion demonstrated in third-party trials in 2020 was unprecedented. There’s no single factor, but a big one has to be the research engine we have access to through Corteva Agriscience. The merger [of Dow AgroSciences and DuPont] brought germplasm pools and new teams together with fresh ideas and perspectives. It’s exciting and a great time to have the support of an organization like Corteva.
How does your relationship with Corteva benefit NuTech and, ultimately, Central Corn Belt farmers?
Our relationship with Corteva gives us first-hand contact with all this product research and data, but then also the opportunity to pick and choose from that and be really selective. We can then haveour own people verify the data and add their experience. We can see and touch those hybrids and varieties in our own research plots to find just the right products for NuTech. That has allowed us to create a more complete and robust portfolio than we’ve ever had before, with more consistent and reliable performance. It pays off when customers get excited about performance and are calling you and sharing exciting stories about what just happened in the field. That’s what makes this so rewarding for us.
You’ve been in the seed business for a long time, so it’s striking to hear you call this year’s performance “unprecedented.” What is it about NuTech right now that is so different from what you’ve seen in your career before?
The industry has been through a really challenging time over the past few years, but we’re coming out of it and have found our groove. We re-launched the NuTech brand, introduced a whole new portfolio and successfully navigated the introduction of a new technology with Enlist E3® soybeans. Now we can focus on our passion for seed and helping farmers succeed, connecting growers to each other and adding new people and new ideas that will just enhance what we stand for: success, enjoyment and family.
When you talk about the NuTech Lifestyle, it conjures up a feeling that can’t be measured, while performance is definitely quantifiable. How do those fit together?
There’s no question that performance drives success, but the farmers we work with know success isn’t just defined by getting a few more bushels per acre. It’s about what success allows you to do. When your seed is performing, that gives you more consistency, reliability and satisfaction. Your business is easier to run and you’re not managing as many risks and variables. You can enjoy things more. You can take care of your family. For us as a company, performance means more resources and opportunities. Now we can bring the NuTech Lifestyle to more people. Performance is the engine behind the Lifestyle, making success, enjoyment and taking care of your family possible.
The NuTech Lifestyle has such a personal feel to it – a sense that we’re in this together. Does that carry a certain extra level of responsibility?
Absolutely. There’s nothing more important than trust. We strive to earn that every day. When we ask someone to write us a check for six figures – that’s most likely borrowed capital – there’s an immense emotional and fiscal responsibility. Think of the trust farmers are showing to borrow money, hand it over to us and believe that they’ll get more back from their investment. If you can’t recognize the magnitude of that, you’re in the wrong business.
You’ve been talking about “expect performance, deliver performance.” Is that a way to drive home that responsibility?
It is, and it also keeps us driving toward excellence. We expect performance from each other and hold ourselves accountable for delivering performance. We owe this to the people who believed in us and got us where we are today, as well as those who join us from here on. We do that by delivering on products, knowledge, passion, service and excitement every day.
Along with success, enjoyment and family, NuTech also puts a lot of emphasis on appreciation. Why is that so important?
We recognize how fortunate we are to be involved with agriculture. This environment and the people who work in it are just so special. “Have you seen the corn today?” became kind of a rallying cry around that. It reminds us that this is always a great industry and a great way to make a life. You don’t ever want to look back and find you were too busy to appreciate what was around you.
What do you believe makes NuTech special?
That’s easy: the people. I’ve heard our employees say they wish they were customers and customers wish they were employees. Why? Because it’s all so much fun. And with the uptick in performance, it’s only gotten better. NuTech captures that feeling of sitting in the planter, the self-satisfaction of being in the combine. You’re building something. That’s my field, that’s my crop. I did that. That’s what makes what we’re doing here at NuTech so special.