Seed supplies seen meeting spring demand

(Resource News International) — So far this spring, there are limited concerns in Western Canada about seed shortages as the 2009-10 seeding season approaches.

Both the Alberta and Saskatchewan seed associations said they were not aware of any seed shortages in their provinces. Only in Manitoba were there ideas about a few potential seed shortages, for pedigreed flax and a select number of hard red spring (HRS) wheat varieties.

“When you look at a copy of Seed Manitoba, a bible of sorts for seed growers, you see there are not many people in there selling pedigreed flax and those who are are only selling a certain amount,” said Eric McLean of the Manitoba Seed Growers Association.

“We’ve had people calling in from outside our traditional sales area to see if we have some, but we sold out rather quickly, about a month or two ago. We had more guys calling and we’re having to send them away,” McLean said.

As for spring wheat, supplies could be tight for some new, popular varieties such as AC Kane or AC Glenn and possibly for some older varieties such as AC Barrie or AC Domain, McLean said.

But other than for flax and wheat, there should not be a lot to worry about, McLean said. In Manitoba, at least, there should be no problems sourcing adequate barley, oat, canola or even corn seed, he said.

That said, there are always last-minute seeding changes based on market levels and weather conditions that can tighten supplies up, McLean said.

“Depending on moisture conditions, some of the crops that need to be planted earlier or at least on time are the ones that could be sacrificed. Then people will go back to more original cropping options and at that point you never know what would happen to oats and barley,” he said.

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