In the maturities below 105 day, our total supply of seed corn is only slightly higher than the amount we sold last season. All but a couple of the available varieties in the early maturities were spoken for more than a month ago. If your dealer was proactive, he has already spoken with you about an order or at the very least put your name on some units ordered earlier. Renk Seed is not unique in this situation and seed supply in the northern U.S. is much tighter than last year. My goal here is to spur you into action to put in a firm order with a reliable seed supplier. At the very least confirm that the dealer you trust the most has some seed with your name on it.
Seed was tight last season which put us in a historically low carryover position. The 2012 seed corn crop was 50% of our budget, though the total budget was high to rebuild inventory and to capitalize on business momentum. In addition, we have an unprecedented commitment to winter production of early hybrids just to get starting inventory above breakeven with last season. All of the large seed suppliers have much larger commitments than Renk to winter production, suggesting their crop was worse than ours.
More than product performance or price, the number one selling point this season will be availability for northern growers. This is definitely not the season to listen to the new rep promising unlimited availability at the lowest price! I used the phrase “reliable seed supplier” and “dealer you trust the most” in the first paragraph. Renk Seed is an industry leader in forthright communication with our sales force on supply. When a variety is sold out, our sales force is informed and no additional orders are taken. We refuse to ‘bait and switch’ our customers by taking orders for seed we know is not available. If your Renk dealer cannot supply all of your needs this spring, you would be wise to reflect a moment when considering a second supplier. Concentrate on reliable and ignore empty promises.
Mercifully, our supply of late maturing (105 day and later) seed corn is still strong. However, I predict that this supply will be sold out before planting time. All the large seed companies struggled with seed production in the central corn belt last summer and all have very large commitments to winter production. None are honest about their supply, or have so much corporate inertia they don’t yet know how much they really have. These issues will come home to roost as we move from the order taking season into delivery season. Any units not spoken for by March 1 will be quickly spoken for by growers getting the run around with another seed supplier.
Call your local Renk Seed dealer to discuss your seed needs.