South American seed production expected to rise
While farmers are assessing the impact of drought on their final corn yields, U.S. seed companies are evaluating 2013 seed corn supplies.
"I would say that the seed industry is going to be challenged to produce the seed that’s needed [for next year]," reports Bill Wyffels, president of Wyffels Hybrids. His company will likely boost production in South America this winter in order to meet grower demand for key hybrids, such as the SmartStax brand of products.
The regional company grows most of its seed corn in Illinois, with 75% of its crop under irrigation. Despite the drought, Wyffels says this year the company will grow its largest U.S. seed crop in the past five years.
On a national basis, DuPont Pioneer reports its seed corn crop quality reflects the uneven growing conditions it has encountered by geography. The company grows seed corn in multiple states, from Nebraska east through Indiana, which helps spread production risks, says Jerry Harrington,
sales and marketing public relations manager. The majority of the crop is under irrigation.
DuPont Pioneer reserves acreage each year in South America for winter production, if needed, he adds.
"It’s too early to know whether we’ll increase winter production, but it’s certainly an option," Harrington notes.
Headed south? Monsanto is also evaluating its winter production plan, according to Danielle Stuart, public affairs spokesperson for the company.
"We have the capability to utilize our winter production capacity to a greater extent if supply conditions warrant additional production in order to meet customer needs," she says. "We expect to know more in the weeks and months ahead, but farmers should order early and talk with their dealers or sales reps to ensure they get the hybrids that are their first or second choice."
Monsanto is helping farmers in affected regions by offering prepay options and financing assistance for seed purchases. Farmers can call (855) 379-1212 to discuss their situation with a Monsanto representative.
Wyffels also encourages farmers to place seed orders early. Farmers who place seed orders by Sept. 15 will be able to take advantage of the best early pay discounts, he says.