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Master of Agribusiness

A Study of Hybrid Seed Corn Pricing

Brent Schwenneker, Ankeny, IA, defended his thesis, “A Study of Hybrid Seed Corn Pricing,” Monday, September 29, 2008. Schwenneker is a Technology Development Representative for Monsanto, covering 13 counties in southwest Iowa. He graduated from Kansas State University in December with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB).

Hybrid seed corn has revolutionized the seed corn industry. Over the past decade the seed corn industry has become quite competitive and companies, including Monsanto, have been looking for ways to maintain a competitive advantage. Schwenneker examined hybrid seed corn pricing for this thesis project. His objective was to gather data and estimate a demand curve in order to give Monsanto a clear picture of their position within the industry.

“We determined the value of hybrid see corn and examined price relationships,” Schwenneker said. “Estimating the demand curve has helped answer those questions.”

Schwenneker examined the relationship between quantity and price and also estimated a hedonic pricing model.  Based on the different traits obtained in a seed corn hybrid, he can analyze which traits impact the price charged.

John Crespi, Agricultural Economics professor and Schwenneker’s thesis advisor, said, “This was a fun project to oversee. Brent did an excellent job of applying economic theory to the important, real-world question of how to set a price on his firm’s product.”