Farmers in areas of Miss.-La. face soybean seed shortage

Published 7:37 pm Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Farmers in this region may be feeling a pinch not in their wallets but in their seed sacks this spring.

In both Louisiana and Mississippi, there is a shortage in seed soybean this year.

The reason for that is twofold, Mississippi State University extension service soybean specialist Trey Koger said.

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The demand for soybeans is at an all time high because of commodity prices.

“If we have enough seed to plant, we are liable to plant the most acreage we ever have in Mississippi,” Koger said.

The other reason is because of adverse weather conditions during the 2007 season, which was first too dry and then too wet.

“From the dry weather we had a lot of low-moisture seed that took a lot of mechanical damage when it was harvested, and the wet weather caused poor quality seed,” Koger said.

What that may mean for Concordia Parish, La., farmers is that they may not be able to plant the soybean varieties that are tested true for the area, Concordia Parish Extension Service director Glen Daniels said.

“Farmers might have to plant varieties from the Midwest instead of the recommended varieties,” Daniels said.

Adams County farmer Ross McGehee said most farmers try to line up their seed supplies in the fall, but because of the price soybeans are getting, some people who might have planted different crops are changing their minds.

McGehee said some adjustments have to be made.

“To do that you’re going to have to sacrifice some of your yield, but with the price of soybeans where it is, that sacrifice is going to be worth it,” he said.

Koger said he believes that there will be enough seed to go around for the full-season crop, but that those who want to double-crop the beans with wheat later in the year might feel the soybean pinch.

“The biggest impact all of this had is the feeling of uncertainty,” Koger said.