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Possible Disruptions in Corn Seed Supply

April 30, 2010
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
By Greg Vincent
AgWeb Editor

Challenging weather in the major seed production areas of Chile may be creating some supply disruptions this spring. Coupled with the lightning-quick planting pace in the Midwest this year, supply issues could develop as the spring progresses.
Much of the nation's corn seed supply's winter production is in Chile, which experienced unusually cooler-than-normal temperatures this year. This delayed seed production and some of this spring's planned-for seed supply remains on the ocean between Chile and the nation's corn fields. 
"We are somewhat delayed with delays in Chile and certainly the quick spring we got off to," says Doug Vail, gneral manager of Mycogen. "Certainly there has been some concern and some delays. We're packing a lot of seed that is still warm when it arrives to a growers field. Generally we're in pretty good shape and we had contingency plans in place in the event they weren't available.
"Seed is becoming available every day. If you have some new hot numbers with new technologies you want to try, within the next 10 days I think they will all be available. There's still plenty of time out there this spring.”

Craig Anderson, Vice President of Operations for AgReliant Genetics says his company had the same experience in Chile  Now, with the rains hitting and slowing progress in many areas, it could help seed companies catch up with their supply to meet a potential surge in more 2010 acres. "I think anytime you have an early spring with really good planting conditions like we had the last eight to 10 days before the rain, generally that would bode well for corn acres. So I would suggest corn acres could be a little bit higher because of the early, fast-paced spring we had."

Vail says Mycogen is hearing the same thing from the field and he anticipates marginal increases in corn acres this year. He says 2-3 million additional acres over the March 31, 2010, USDA report that pegged corn acres at 88.798 million acres.

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