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Field Notes

Photo: Pixabay.

MCIA’s Field Services staff reflect on the year past:

“The farmer has to be an optimist, or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.”
—Will Rogers

The past year is now history and despite many challenges there were many highlights. The optimism of both MCIA and our members is very high.

Last winter the seed supply was adequate, and the value of certified seed was evident by the strong seed sales. Cover crop seed continues to be a popular topic and MCIA and other agencies have continued to educate and promote the use of certified seed. All seed planted must follow the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA), State and Federal Seed Law, and technology use agreements.

The use of tested and known seed genetics is the starting point for success when planting. The increased awareness of noxious weeds and invasive species such as Palmer amaranth are another reason to use known seed for grain, forage, cover crop, and all seed needs. The introduction of undesirable species on to your farm may be the gift that keeps on giving, and that is a gift you do not want.

Demand for certified straw remained strong into the summer months. Some types and sizes of “certified straw” ran out of inventory and growers and suppliers quickly made plans as the new crop was harvested. Due to it being a dry year, overall straw production is down, and certified acres were down slightly from last year.

Certified small grain acres were lower at the beginning of the growing season. However, while growers were optimistic about the crop, when the drought began to show they were also realistic about how it might affect yields. To ensure an adequate supply of certified seed for next year, growers, seed companies, and MCIA worked together to quickly enroll eligible acres. As a result, despite a record-setting drought in the heart of wheat country, the supply of certified seed is adequate going into the winter months.

On the other hand, oat acres were down, and demand is up. So, check the MCIA 2022 Directory or with your local seed grower to secure your seed needs as some small grain varieties may be in short supply.

The field staff has begun making facility inspections and will be assisting all growers and approved facilities with updated Bulk Seed Sale Certificates. The online program is getting a fresh look and improved design for quicker and easier printing. Reminder for all certified seed sold in bags, totes, or portable bulk bags: Attach a proper and accurate certified seed label (tag).

With the stresses of drought mostly behind us and a blanket of snow now covering many areas of the state, it is time to turn towards the optimism of the new year.