Seed supply should be adequate for 2013
Seed industry representatives at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa last week admitted the obvious; the seed crop was hurt by the drought. We have comments from DuPont Pioneer's Todd Frazier.
Published: Aug 31, 2012
But the situation in many cases isn’t as bad as feared and in fact the seed supply for 2013 is expected to be adequate.
“From what I’ve seen, it’s not as bad as everybody thought,” said David Thompson, national sales and marketing director for Stine Seed.
“We’re over half way done with seed corn harvest and the returns are surprisingly good,” he continued. “It won’t be a bumper crop, but it will be an adequate crop.”
Thompson reported Stine Seed had some field failures in Southern Illinois. But production at other locations is expected to make up much of those losses.
Jeff Hartz, director of marketing for Wyffels Hybrids, said many of the company’s seed corn fields in North Central Illinois received timely rains of 1.5 inches in June and 1 inch in July.
“Our situation is pretty good on seed production,” Hartz said. “We have a strong domestic crop.”
“Obviously the drought had an impact (on seed production),” said Todd Frazier, Pioneer business director in Iowa and Missouri. “But we can meet the (seed) demand and have a little upside.”
How can seed suppliers be so confident in their supplies in the midst of the worst drought since 1988?
Industry representatives noted the majority of seed crops are irrigated, in-bred seed corn requires less water than commercial corn, a number of companies this year planted excess acres, and seed production in South America is expected to skyrocket and possibly set a new record.
“We went in with a plan to grow excess inventory, so we grew a much larger crop than we needed,” said Craig Anderson, vice president for sales for AgReliant Genetics. “And we’ll utilize counter-seasonal production in Chile and Argentina. This year we have a bigger plan (for South American production) than we would, otherwise.”
But, while the overall seed supply is expected to be adequate for 2013, industry representatives noted availability of some hybrids likely will be tight.
“In a year like this you can lose a field here and there and it will affect the supply of specific numbers,” Hartz said. “I’d advise farmers that if they have a hybrid they really want, get an order in and get it reserved.”
Anderson offered similar advice.
“Make decisions early and get things ordered,” he said. “There will be issues with certain hybrids, no doubt about it.”
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