New Farm Tech Worth Nothing if You Can't Get It

Farmer Iron

When planters roll on the farm this season what will be in those hoppers? Perhaps choices could be limited.

Published on: March 21, 2012

Earlier this year there was a lot of hubbub in the mainstream media (of which I am not) about the coming great corn seed shortage. Of course, those of us who've been around awhile know that every season brings its fair share of shortages of specific hybrids - usually the ones you want - but there would be seed to plant. At least one report we saw showed a concern that farmers may not have enough seed to plant the 94 to 95 million acres predicted at planting time. Most of us pooh-poohed the idea.

Today, as I was browsing Twitter (follow me www.twitter.com/willie1701a) I came across an increasing number of tweets from farmers who are worried about getting the seed they need. Those big new planters will get corn into the ground fast, singulate it right and get you a good stand, but all that hardware could be hindered if your "software" isn't up to snuff.

Seed companies were hit by odd weather last year, hindering production. However, they do say there will be plenty of seed. Perhaps, however, you'll want to get on the phone today with your rep (most of you may have done this) and doublecheck your order if you haven't received it yet.

And be sure to be ready. This super warm spring season has every agronomist from Maine to California scratching his/her head over planting, fertilizer, soil temps and other tools. Of course, in some instances you can't plant until certain government rules allow you to (crop insurance can be a limit).

But is pushing seed into the ground in March really that good an idea? Killing frost are possible through April as far south as I-80; we haven't had that much spring rain (of course as I write this it may be raining where you are); and we still don't know about the pest profile.

You have time, and nice weather, for last minute checks of every piece of equipment on your farm. Once you're ready, having the right seed, crop protection and fertilizer lined up is the money in the bank you'll need next fall.

You can share what you're learning about this season just provide a comment below. I'd love to hear what you're learning about corn seed availability, hybrid choices and any action plans you're taking. It's worth taking a moment to share here. And thanks for reading.