Who We Are
Nokomis Gold Seed Company is an LLC. We own, manage intellectual property, multiply, test and license corn inbreds and hybrids for the Mandaamin Institute and others. We play a broker role for grain sales.
Our corn contains specific traits, which are bred to produce unique yield-competitive hybrids. NG sells its inbred seed to cooperating seed companies (trusted partners), and those companies make the hybrid seed that is sold to farmers. Our entry point to the commercial seed market is initially through Foundation Organic Seeds, LLC (FOS) and their clientele.
Working with FOS and then other medium-sized specialty seed companies will enable us to create marketing and business operations that can be expanded quickly to a range of customers and geographic markets. Partnering organization the Mandaamin Institute has small plot research that shows that the hybrids have competitive yields of grain, but higher protein yields and 30% more methionine. Also, the corn is nitrogen efficient and with bacterial inoculation may fix nitrogen from the air. We are testing our hybrids with innovative farmers to prove their merit under large-scale farming conditions.
Comparison between eggs fed primarily with our high carotene, high methionine corn (top) with eggs fed a normal corn and soybean-based diet plus a carotene additive.
Who We Work With
Our Initial Customers will include:
1) organic poultry farmers who desire high methionine corn because USDA is phasing out the use of synthetic methionine;
2) conventional crop farmers interested in reducing costs and pollution associated with N-fertilizer overuse; and
3) organic and conventional dairy farmers who want high levels of protein, methionine, and digestibility in corn for maximum dairy production.
Protein Quality and Methionine:
Protein quality is critical for the growth of animals and for feed formulation, and the content of methionine, cysteine, and lysine in the grain and protein are especially important for poultry and cattle. We developed a method that allows us to quickly measure protein quality in conjunction with Iowa State University using Near Infrared technology (NIRS). The inherent correlation between protein content and methionine, lysine, and cysteine content was broken for the first time using unique sets of corn grain calibration samples from our breeding program. The correlations between NIRS and wet chemistry results have been highly significant on all years tested, giving us a cheap and accurate method for testing for these amino acids.
Ours vs. Conventional Varieties
Between 2011 and 2016 we utilized NIRS to analyze 1250 samples of our hybrids in comparison to 149 samples from hybrid controls grown in 9 replicated trials on organic farms. On a total dry basis our hybrids had grain that averaged 0.274% methionine while conventional had 0.21%. This is a 30% difference. On average our hybrids had 10% protein while conventional had 8.6% protein for a 16% difference. The percent methionine in the protein ranged from 2.14% to 3.14% for the different treatments but regression showed that at the same protein level the NG grain had approximately 0.56% or 22% more methionine in its protein than did the conventional corn. This is critical for formulating protein efficient feed.
Gel electrophoresis confirmed that our selection had changed the content of alpha-zeins seed proteins which have low contents of essential amino acids, but to accumulation of beta and delta zeins with higher concentrations of methionine and cysteine, and non-zein proteins rich in lysine.
Later wet chemistry analyses with High Pressure Liquid Chromatography confirmed the differences (see Table 1) between conventional corn and our corn or conventional corn and Nutridense hybrids (high value corn bred by others and commercially used to feed livestock). Nokomis Gold hybrids showed the highest contents of methionine, lysine and cysteine and a higher % methionine in the protein.
In 2009 we did research with natural N isotopes in our inbreds that showed that they were taking up more N from soil organic matter than conventional commercial inbreds when N was limiting in the soil. Recently it has become clearer that this greater mineralization from soil organic matter may be partly due to differences in root development.
In 2017 we qualitatively inspected the rooting systems of the 12 top inbreds that we have developed versus conventional inbreds under very N-limited conditions on two fields. Conventional inbreds were two current inbreds from a commercial licensing company, and six,ex-PVP inbreds from Monsanto and Pioneer seed companies.
In general, conventional inbreds often had very tightly appressed, vertical roots (see pictures below). The concentration of secondary roots in the topsoil region for the conventional inbreds was moderate to sparse. In contrast, the adventitious rooting systems of most of our inbreds are relatively spreading with broad crowns. This causes their most intensive zone of roots to encompass a larger volume of topsoil. Their adventitious roots are mostly densely covered with secondary roots in the top 6 inches of soil.
The concentration of secondary roots in the topsoil region for the conventional inbreds was moderate to sparse. In contrast, the adventitious rooting systems of most of our inbreds are relatively spreading with broad crowns. This causes their most intensive zone of roots to encompass a larger volume of topsoil. Their adventitious roots are mostly densely covered with secondary roots in the top 6 inches of soil.
The rooting system on the conventional inbreds parallels their upright leaf habit. Perhaps, it is the outcome of selecting under growing conditions with high population densities, where scavenging of fertilizer-N from water in the profile and resistance to root lodging are emphasized. The rooting systems of our inbreds is the result of selecting for plants that can utilize the topsoil to obtain N from soil organic matter and thus perform better.
The broad, branching root phenotype is probably the reason why we again and again see better weed control in our inbreds and hybrids than with conventional inbreds. Our roots are right there with the weeds, intensively doing all the mysterious things they do to shut the weeds down.
We Focus On Building Key Relationships
We Have Created the Quality Crop Association. Nokomis Gold’s ‘Quality Crop Club’ is modelled on the apple clubs that have encouraged growth in the specialty apple industry. Farmers, seed and feed companies, and breeder members will have exclusive ability to buy or sell seed or grain. Legal arrangement (inbred registry, etc.) will provide limited rights and use to those members, and in exchange end-users of the corn will pay a surcharge for the grain to support ongoing research and administrative costs. The model will protect intellectual property, enhance income, consolidate business, increase efficiency, and manage two-way flows of information.
Quality Non-GMO Sales You Can Trust
We guarantee High-quality Corn, meaning that our corn has higher levels of value generally
The Research at Mandaamin Institute continues to improve and foster the the quality of corn.
We work with Dependable Seed Suppliers like Steve Mohr at Foundation Organic Seed to create a positive and profitable relationship between all partners
We work with Associates who invest in Foundation Organics Seeds