The Golden Harvest Story

With company roots dating back to the mid-1800s, the Golden Harvest brand draws on a rich heritage that has combined genetics, agronomy and service to bring high-quality corn hybrids and soybean varieties to growers since its earliest days.

The corn and soybean seed we breed today is a credit to the tenacity and hard work of those who forged the path in the corn seed business – Akin Seed, Columbiana Seed, Garst and Thomas Hi-Bred Corn Company, Garwood Seed, Golden Seed, J.C. Robinson Seeds, Sommer Bros. Seed and Thorp Seed. These family companies pioneered many industry-changing technologies, including early participation in the development of hybrid seed corn, the first to use a combine for soybeans, and the first to offer a trait stack with European corn borer (Bt) control and herbicide tolerance. Innovations such as these all began with a desire to help industrious local farmers reap the benefits of broadening their horizons.

Today, every Golden Harvest corn hybrid and soybean variety is still bred with the individual needs of hardworking farmers in mind. Powered by broad genetic diversity and exceptional traits and technologies, Golden Harvest has a diverse portfolio of hybrids and varieties to maximize yield in every field. Bred to get the job done in even the most difficult environments and conditions, Golden Harvest offers corn hybrids with insect control, water optimization and herbicide tolerance with high-performing Agrisure® traits and technologies. Golden Harvest Soybeans feature built-in resistance to yield-robbing pests and diseases and the traits you need to protect against many of today’s toughest field threats.

We take genetics seriously but realize they are only one part of the formula for success. Golden Harvest has also been rooted in agronomy and service since our beginnings. Not only are the agronomic attributes of our hybrids and varieties second to none, our Golden Harvest Seed Advisors know how to put them to work for you. They know the local lay of the land, and they are with you throughout the season, ready to walk your fields, dig in and help you tackle any seasonal challenge you may face. They have in-depth knowledge of soil types, weather patterns, pest and disease pressure, growing conditions, and management practices. Plus, they have access to local trial and yield data and state-of-the-art product placement tools, so when it’s time to make seed decisions, you can be confident they won’t take any shortcuts when it comes to recommending hybrids and varieties that will thrive in your fields. From planning and planting to growing and harvesting, Golden Harvest Seed Advisors go the extra mile to earn your trust and help you harvest your best season yet.

Your success is our success. With deep roots in genetics, agronomy and service, look no further than Golden Harvest for high-yielding seed that works just as hard as you do.

Our Heritage

1853The Golden family, innovators since 1853 and founders of Golden Seed Co. Inc., was the first to package seed in paper bags.
1888J.C. Robinson Seed Co. in Waterloo, NE, was established in 1888, and offered 108 varieties of open pollinated seed corn by 1924.
1909O.J. and Arthur Sommer founded Sommer Brothers Seed Co. in Pekin, IL, with their 10 best ears of corn in 1909.
1917Thorp Seed Co. operated one of the first tractors in Illinois in 1917 and applied the first nitrogen sidedress to corn in 1938.
1924Founded in 1924 in Stonington, IL, Garwood Seed Company pioneered the use of a combine for soybeans and was instrumental in improving the pest resistance of early open pollinated corn varieties.
1930In the 1930s, J.C. Robinson Seed Co. introduced hybrid corn in their growing region under the name Rob-See-Co.
1931Garst and Thomas Hi-Bred Corn Company was founded in 1931 as a family business. The company led the way in developing herbicide-tolerant hybrids, including the first IMI-corn, and was among the first seed companies to offer European corn borer (Bt) control and herbicide tolerance together in one corn hybrid.
1932Columbiana Seed Co. was started in 1932 with 40 acres of seed production in Columbiana, IL.
1936Clarence Akin planted his first acre of seed corn in 1936, officially starting Akin Seed Company.
1973Akin Seed, Columbiana Seed, Garwood Seed, Golden Seed, J.C. Robinson Seeds, Sommer Bros. Seed, and Thorp Seed formed a business alliance to create Golden Harvest Seeds, Inc. on April 23, 1973. The partnership allowed the companies to share research and marketing resources nationally and internationally — yet market and sell locally.
2004Syngenta acquired a major stake in Golden Harvest in 2004, allowing it to operate as an independent brand while providing access to one of the largest research programs in the industry.
2004Syngenta purchased Garst’s corn and soybean seed brand from AstraZeneca in 2004.
2004The Agrisure traits portfolio launches in 2004 and experiences a period of rapid growth over the next 10 years with multiple technologies launched commercially, including Agrisure Artesian® water optimization technology, Agrisure Viptera® for control of lepidopteran insects and Agrisure Duracade® for rootworm control.
2013Golden Harvest and Garst corn seed brands were unified under the Golden Harvest brand in 2013.
2017Golden Harvest expanded its offering with the introduction of Golden Harvest Soybeans for 2017 planting.
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