Demanding Times and Underground Foes

March 2021March 2021 (Spanish)

Demanding Times

As we end out the first quarter of 2021, seed movement remains somewhere between steady and intense, with end user consumption continuing to pull through the supply line. If you are like us, it seems as if every time we try to get ahead, we find demand has gotten there before us. We try to pre-empt orders by putting more stock on the floor, only to have most if it sold before it is packaged. The same is true with open market commodities. We buy or bring in extra, only to find it isn’t enough.

Where’s it all going? You, our distributors surely aren’t hoarding, and neither are your dealers. Both farm and turf consumers are doing just that – consuming. We are currently in a demand-driven cycle, which, as you know, in agriculture, can quickly become a supply problem. We can’t just build more widgets. Harvest only comes once a season. That which can be harvested must first be planted. This is why you are seeing on our price sheet and others, many items listed as “Ask” or “Sold out.” 2021 is one of those years where new crop can’t come soon enough.

Underground Foes

It looks like some are not waiting for new crop to arrive before starting harvest. We continue to hear reports of widespread crop consumption, namely from below ground enemies – voles, slugs and wireworms. The play on words is not meant to undermine the seriousness of the damage that these pests are causing. While it is too early to tell the total impact, we do know that some fields will be put to the plow rather than harvested. These invaders seem to have no specific crop preference – legumes, grasses and brassicas all are fair game to be desiccated. Hopefully, counter measures and evasive actions by farmers will limit their final impact on the crops.

Reluctant Sellers

Forward buyers of new crop annual ryegrass are finding difficulty getting quotes, let alone purchases. Good consumption, crop concerns, and low prices from 2020 crop are giving growers few incentives to sell forward. Buyers wanting to get some on the books have pushed both new crop and prompt price up, yet it seems too early to know whether these prices will hold. Likely, prices will be higher than last year, but hard to tell where or when they will settle to a new level.

Many New Offerings

While we are still right in the heart of Spring, we want you to know that our line-up of improved proprietary varieties continues to grow, with even more new product offerings taking shape this year. We have a number of additional annual ryegrasses – such as Baqueano, Trinova, and Rapido. We’ve added Ranchero forage fescue and Marco Polo white clover. Greenspan turf fescue, Isabel Kentucky bluegrass, and FragiBlaster cover crop radish will be available after harvest. There are others as well.

While many of these have limited supplies, we think you will find them valuable to add to your line-up. Once you have a chance to start thinking about fall, please visit our newly revamped SmithSeed.com website as well as consult with your sales representative to see how you can get in on the action.