Hurt Seed Company


Mar 8, 2013

Komatsu equipment - reliable and fuel-efficient

When it comes to agricultural products, there’s not much that Hurt Seed Company hasn’t been involved with. Founded in 1932 by Fred Hurt and his son David, the Halls, Tenn.-based family business originally focused much of its attention on grass-seed production.

Through the years, the focus shifted more toward row-crop seed processing, with a particular emphasis on Roundup Ready varieties of soybeans and wheat. Hurt Seed contracts with area farms to grow the crops and provide the seed, which is brought to Hurt’s location in Halls to be cleaned. That process removes remaining soils from harvested seeds, as well as checks them for proper quality before they’re bagged and shipped to Hurt Seed Company customers.

“That makes up about 80 percent of our business,” said President/General Manger Trey Hurt. His brother, Ray, is the company’s Vice President/Operational Manager. “The other 20 percent of Hurt Seed Company’s business involves seed treatment, such as applying fungicide and insecticide for customers who want that. In addition, we have another company, Hurt & Hurt Rental, which grows corn, wheat and soybeans, and rents land to cotton producers.”

Trey and Ray are fourth-generation family members in Hurt Seed Company. Their father, David Jr., oversaw operations for many years, including the transition to more seed processing. The company now produces more than a million units (a unit is typically about 50 pounds) of seed per year. Raw seeds come in from about a 200-mile radius of Halls, and once processed, are sent to customers via truck.

Dirt projects added

About a year ago, the Hurts added earthwork to their list of services, hiring the father-son team of Robbie and Rob Brigman to run the projects and equipment. Some of the work they do is for Hurt Seed, such as land clearing for new planting acres, but much of it is contracted out to a variety of customers within about a 75-mile radius of Halls.

“Our work covers the gamut, including agricultural-related projects such as soil conservation,” said Robbie, who has nearly 30 years of earthwork experience. “Constructing ponds is a specialty. We handle everything: building the levee, digging the hole and installing any necessary piping.”

“Levee work is something we frequently do, both new construction and repair,” added Rob. “We’ve worked extensively along the Mississippi River through the years, fixing stretches that have blown out during flooding. But we don’t stop with ponds and levees. We dig basements, foundations and trenches for utility installation, grade for building pads and anything else that involves dirt. Demolition is also something we offer on a limited basis.”

Komatsu offers reliability, fuel efficiency

The Brigmans use Komatsu equipment purchased by Hurt Seed from Power Equipment Company’s Memphis branch with the help of Territory Manager Jimmy Spence. Its most recent acquisition was a Tier 4 Interim PC290LC-10 excavator to go along with a D51PX dozer.

“The D51 is hands-down the best dozer, and I’ve run just about every brand,” claimed Rob, noting Hurt Seed bought the PX model because of the frequently wet conditions the Brigmans face in western Tennessee. “I like everything about it. The cab is comfortable and, with the slant-nose design, I have excellent visibility to the blade. And it will push a sizeable load. I’ve been in some fairly deep mud, and the D51 pushed it without any trouble whatsoever, so it’s powerful, too.”

“The PC290 is about the 10th Komatsu excavator I’ve had,” noted Robbie. “I partnered with another guy before I started with Hurt, and we had a PC200. We rented a PC270 for a big job we were doing, and when I came to work here, that PC270 came along with me. We haven’t had the PC290 long, but we already see that it fits right in with the reliability we’ve always had with Komatsu equipment. It’s also very fuel-efficient, which is another reason we like Komatsu equipment.”

Robbie said the service Hurt Seed gets from Power Equipment is also a factor in staying with Komatsu machinery. “Jimmy and the folks at Power Equipment are fantastic to work with, and they stand behind their equipment. Whenever we need something, they’re right there to help.”

A proud tradition

Two years ago, Hurt Seed Company sold its retail division to Cleveland, Miss.-based Jimmy Sanders, Inc., one of the mid-South’s largest agricultural suppliers with more than 60 locations. Founded 60 years ago, Sanders carries a variety of crop-related products, as well as offers crop-management services.

“Prior to the acquisition, Sanders and Hurt had a strong partnership for about 20 years,” said Trey. “Putting the two together proved beneficial to both companies, and our values really matched up well. They, like us, put a high value on customer satisfaction.”

“That customer-first approach, with an emphasis on providing high-quality products is what’s made Hurt Seed Company successful through four generations,” concluded Ray. “Our dad and grandfathers passed that down to us, and we’re proud to carry on the tradition, both in terms of our seed processing and growing, as well as our earthwork offerings.”