The rising price of corn and soybeans is good for most farmers, but it may not have been good for small grain seed sales. Several producers of certified wheat and oat seed indicated reduced sales, during the spring of 2021, as farmers planted more acres of soybeans and corn. In turn, demand for foundation seed of wheat and oats was also slow.
The lack of a new wheat variety and lower demand had foundation wheat seed sales falling to levels not seen since the early 1970s. Overall wheat sales totaled just under 4,200 bushels. MN-Torgy, the 2020 new release, was well received and demand for foundation seed was very strong.
Oat sales were good with nearly 6,000 bushels sold this year, the third highest total since 2015. However, the previous two years were very strong and overall foundation oat seed sales declined in 2021. MN-Pearl and Deon continue to be the most popular varieties. Foundation barley seed sales increased, although the total sales amount to only 480 bushels.
Soybean sales are made up largely of food-grade types. Over 2,300 units were sold, the majority of which were purchased from other states or produced under contract.
Overall foundation seed sales in 2021 were lower than anticipated. We expected a slight decline due to the lack of a new variety. However, it is difficult to predict the impact of other factors such as commodity prices. The table included here summarizes the last five years of foundation seed sales.
Please visit MCIA’s Foundation Seed Services for more information on this topic.