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Master of Agribusiness

Financial Feasibility of Investing in Bulk Soybean Infrastructure for a Channel Seed Agent

Bethany Huls, Alexandria, MN, defended her thesis, “Financial Feasibility of Investing in Bulk Soybean Infrastructure for a Channel Seed Agent” on April 12. She is a District Sales Manager for Monsanto. Huls will be a spring graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree.

Channel Seed, a division of Monsanto Company specializing in premier seed, currently represents approximately five percent of the total seed market share in the United States. Until recently, Channel Seed Agents purchased seed from Channel and resold it following suggested retail prices, but due to company policy changes, Channel Seed Agents, or “Seedsmen”, now market seed sold and owned by Channel. Some dealers terminated their partnerships with Channel in response to the changes, as they were no longer allowed to sell seed from other brands. In Minnesota, three large soybean dealers terminated their contracts, reducing Channel’s soybean sales in the state by 25 percent. In her thesis, Huls examined the financial feasibility of a Channel Seed Agent investing in bulk soybean infrastructure over a period of five years based on different sales volume scenarios and analyzed the soybean sales volume need to make a profit over five years. 

"The goal of this thesis is to demonstrate the earning opportunities within Channel’s infrastructure cost-share program and compensation program in combination with sales to demonstrate the financial feasibility of investing in bulk soybean infrastructure. This demonstration and analysis will provide evidence of timely return on investment and an verall confidence that investing in bulk soybean infrastructure is financially feasible” Huls said.

Huls’ thesis indicated that an investment into Channel soybean seed will be a break-even investment at a soybean sales volume of 6,912 units.  Her research is of special interest to Channel Seed Agents considering investing in bulk soybean infrastructure.

Dr. Keith Harris, Assistant Professor and Huls’ thesis advisor, said, “This study examines an important decision to invest and reap the rewards of lowering cost and increasing sales. Bethany did a very nice job of capturing the essence of the problem and the potential solutions.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/38807.