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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Seed shortage: A reality for spring planting?

  •   Weather always plays a role in farming, and 2011 was certainly no exception. What may make the 2011 growing season, with its flooding, high heat, drought-like and early frost conditions, even more exceptional is the impact it could have on the 2012 crop. &#...
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  •   Weather always plays a role in farming, and 2011 was certainly no exception. What may make the 2011 growing season, with its flooding, high heat, drought-like and early frost conditions, even more exceptional is the impact it could have on the 2012 crop. “Yields were low,”?said Ben Lang, president and CEO?of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association. “That means there are going to be crops which are short seed this spring.” Some estimates show seed amounts down 25-50 percent over past years, and those who deal in corn and soybeans may have some concerns to deal with when they go to get their seed. “If you haven’t ordered your seed yet, I would get that done now,”?said Lang. That sentiment was echoed by local seed reps, including Doug Jeske of the Harvest Land Cooperative seed division. “There is good seed available, but some of the varieties are certainly going to be tight,” said Jeske. In other words, some of the most in-demand seed varieties are likely not going to be available, especially when it comes to corn. Demand for corn seed is on the rise across the nation, as more producers are planting corn on more land. Those who watch the markets, including Lang, agree the price per bushel for corn is becoming very attractive for producers. Another issue that plays into the mix is the amount of crop grown over the winter months in South America. Recent data shows yields may be down there, too. There have been reports of drought conditions in some of the South American countries.  Although not all seed used locally comes from South America, it plays a role in the overall seed inventory available. According to Myron “Mickey”?Peterson of Sacred Heart, a member of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and a seed dealer, the continued trend of corn on corn has raised demand, and he reiterated the reality for those who have not ordered seed. “You need to go to your source and order,”?he said. “Don’t wait.” Brad Newman, a seed and agronomy advisor for Meadowland Cooperative, said much of the seed for 2012 is already ordered. The good news is there is going to be corn and soybean seed available for everyone, but those who have not placed their orders yet may not get what they want to plant. According to reports, the biggest corn planting since the 1940s could have been in store for 2012, but the shortage may hamper that a little bit. Lang said the frost did more damage to the soybean crop, but added there should still be enough seed for this season. The situation is not dire, but those who keep an eye on trends know any major change could impact the market in a negative way. No one wants that.
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