A pair of seed corn pickers chewed through a southeast Iowa corn field last week, oblivious to a chilly, late September rain shower that sent members of the harvest crew scurrying for cover.

As wagons filled up, their contents were dumped into waiting semi-trailers for transport to the new Beck’s Hybrids seed corn production plant in Mount Pleasant. Beck’s bought the former Pioneer plant last year, and moved quickly to ramp up production.

“Iowa has been so welcoming to us. It has just blown out our expectations,” said Sonny Beck, CEO of Indiana-based Beck’s Hybrids.

Initially, the company didn’t plan to produce any seed in its first year in Iowa while it worked on plant upgrades, Beck said. That quickly changed into tentative plans to grow about 1,000 acres of seed corn on contract with area...