Just as farmer yields were better than expected this year, seed companies also are reporting good seed production and quality in 2013. Last year seed production in the US was down because of the drought, and there were fears of a seed shortage for 2013. That turned out not to be a serious problem and will not be an issue for 2014. According to Scott Beck, with Beck’s Hybrids, “Much like farmer yields, our seed yields were extremely good. So we are set up well to offer farmers adequate supplies of our best yielding and products.” Beck said, not only was the quantity good, so was the quality, “The quality was extremely good. We have a few fields where we may have some work to do, but in general we are very pleased with the quality of the seed crop both corn and soybeans.”
It seems that each year farmers get surprised by one hybrid that does much better in the field than anticipated. Scott Beck says seed companies can also get surprised by how some of their genetics perform in specific weather conditions. That was the case with two Beck’s products this year, “We had one new hybrid that, when you looked at it in the field, you would not expect it to set a yield record but 5825 did just that.” Beck said it tends to have a medium to smaller ear size, but its depth of kernel really produced some impressive yields. He told HAT another hybrid, 6626, had a very poor year in 2012 but has really done well in the 2013 growing conditions.
Beck suggested that, with the good moisture this year producing some very tall plants, residue management will be a key issue that growers need to address this fall. Seed companies are starting to organize their winter meetings, so keep your calendars handy for the ones in your area.