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Seed Supply Outlook
January 11, 2005

Seed supply outlook: Mixed

Mixed and unsettled may be words that might best describe the 2005 dry bean seed situation.

Depending on who you talk to, there is plenty of seed available -- at higher prices, of course -- or supplies of some varieties are tight.

Several growers we contacted said they werent having any trouble getting the most popular varieties.

My phone has been ringing off the hook with people offering pinto seed for sale, says Alan Juliuson, a Hope, N.D., farmer and Northarvest Bean Growers Association director.

Kevin Anderson, Northarvest vice-president, East Grand Forks, Minn., says he has not had any trouble booking seed either. The price is up, however. A figure of approximately $50 a bag seems to be a common.

The seed supply of some varieties may be tight.

I was able to get the Maverick, but not the Buster, says John Dunnigan, a Walhalla, N.D., farmer and North Dakota Bean Council member.

Its not clear how much North Dakota-grown seed is available for 2005.

Because the growing season was cooler than normal, blight wasnt a problem, says Richard Fulgeberg, Fugleberg Bean and Seed Co., Portland, N.D.

We were able to certify nearly all the acres we applied for, he says. That hasnt happened for a long time.

However, frost clipped yields 30-40%. We lost some yield potential and sorted off frost damaged beans, he says.

Preliminary germination tests on the conditioned seed is said to be good

Carryover stocks may minimize the impact the poor growing season will have on the total seed supply. With higher prices likely, much of the carryover stored in warehouses nationwide will be moved this year.

I think everyone who wants seed will be able to find it, says Brian Engstrom, Engstrom Bean and Seed Co., Leeds, N.D.

Anderson says that when seed gets tight, he takes it as a sign that the market has got enough acres.

It might be time to plant something else, he says.

Seed supply will be the topic of a session at Bean Day.



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