From left to right, Mark Larimer, Brad Trump, and David Larimer stand in front of one of the Lord’s Seed corn dryers. (Chris Lusvardi photo)
From left to right, Mark Larimer, Brad Trump, and David Larimer stand in front of one of the Lord’s Seed corn dryers. (Chris Lusvardi photo)

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Lord’s Seed has evolved from a small family operation in northeast Indiana to become one of the top independent seed producers in the country.

John Larimer started growing the first seed corn crop on 250 acres in 1980 as part of the family’s farming operation in the Greenfield Township area along the Interstate 80 corridor.

In 1985, the operation known as God’s Acres joined Great Lakes Hybrids and stayed with them until 2000. By that time, John and his wife, Sherrie, had bought out his parents and changed the business name to Lord’s Seed.

In 2001, their three children became owners and managers of the operation.

David Larimer is currently the company’s president and his brother, Mark Larimer, is the vice president.

Their sister, Rebekah Trump, works in the company’s office, and her husband, Brad Trump, is the vice president and secretary.

“Our goal is to produce the best quality seed,” David Larimer explains. “As owners and operators, we are out in the field looking at the crops every day. We can make rapid adjustments in real time. Getting to know the land is the best thing. The ground dictates what we do.”

Seed Production

Lord’s Seed produces seed corn, field corn, soybeans, and small specialty lots, located in the largest seed corn production area of the world around Howe, IN.

Larimer says the company produces approximately 2% of the supply of seed corn in the United States.

The growing environment allows for a growth span zone of 75-115 day maturity with the ability to produce 200,000 to 600,000 units of seed, he says.

“The soil here is light which makes it conducive to ideal seed corn production,” Larimer says.

Irrigation. One hundred percent of the seed corn is irrigated along with most of the rest of the production, Larimer adds.

An aquifer runs under the area, supplying the water needed to irrigate, says Larimer.

“We have great land,” he says. “We don’t dry out, so we can keep growing on it with such a great water source.”

Larimer says the company works to increase their understanding of how inbred seed corn, hybrid seed corn, and soybeans respond to the use of irrigation.

“We screen 1,200 different inbred lines each season taking over 40 different data points of information on each inbred,” Larimer says. “This information assists our team with the knowledge of how to plant, detassle, harvest, fertilize, and care for each inbred line. These inbred lines respond differently in irrigated sands compared with other locations and soils.”

He notes this effort has been ongoing since 1990.


Seed conditioning. Lord’s Seed has the capabilities to offer full seed conditioning services.

They have conditioning partnership facilities in Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Drying. The Lord’s Seed seed corn processing plant in Orland, IN has expanded in recent years with additions including husking beds, conveyors, dust collection, scale and dump pit modifications.

The company continues to add equipment to meet the growing needs for their expanding seed corn business, Larimer says.

Warehousing. Each planting season, Lord’s Seed uses their 66,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Brighton, IN to store, bag, and tag the seed ready for distribution.

“Our staff is dedicated to achieving a high-quality level of service for all our customers,” Larimer says. “We want to try to be as flexible as we can as everybody’s needs are different.”


Corn. Lord’s Seed is a major supplier of both waxy and high-oil seed corn, Larimer notes.

“Our customers range from some of the smallest to some of the largest retailers in the industry,” he says. “We package our product in various ways, including bulk, bagged, RIB, ProBox, or EZFlo.”

Soybeans. Soybean seed production is another aspect of the company, in which Larimer says they can clean and treat at their dryer facility.

Lord’s Seed are producers of foundation seed soybeans (LL, RR1, RR2) and non-genetically modified organisms (non-GMO). The harvest is processed with rotary combines.

“We have the capability of cleaning, conditioning, and bagging our soybean products,” Larimer says.

Cover crops. Larimer says the company has a cover crop program in place to help them continue to be good stewards of the soil.

The main cover crops are oats and rye, with each having its own advantages, he says.

Larimer explains oats will die when the temperature falls to a certain degree, which eliminates the need for chemical application in the spring. Rye will continue to grow, which creates more microbial life in the soil, builds more soil structure, and organic matter, which all leads to the ability to produce better future crops.

Lord’s Seed Specialty Lots (LSSL). In the past, Larimer says the seed corn industry was hit very hard with droughts and extreme temperatures.

“There was a need in the industry for small lot production (1-20 acres) to help breeders to increase their lines,” he says. “Since our area has favorable weather and soil conditions to fill this need, we began to pursue this venture with 288 acres.”

Their breeding program works with some of the nation’s largest seed corn companies. They also have a counter cyclical production in South America.

“Working with specialty lots can be very tedious work,” Larimer says. “There are very specific standards and distances that must be adhered to in breeding plots. The seed from our lots are harvested separately and dried in a research tub. After the shelling process is complete, this corn is shipped in mini bulk bags containing 40 bushels each.”

All of the specialty production is inspected by Indiana Crop Improvement Association, which makes them available for certification and OECD status.

Written by Chris Lusvardi, Seed Today Editor