Irrigation helps save seed corn crop in Nebraska

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The drought this summer was brutal and most Corn Belt states saw many of their plants wither under the severe conditions and cause many to wonder if there would be enough quality corn seed for the 2013 planting season. However, in parts of Nebraska where irrigation is the only way to produce a crop, corn seed production was preserved this year for 2013.

Spokespeople for two of the largest seed corn producers in Nebraska and in the entire Corn Belt told that two key risk management tools, irrigation and overproduction, will allow a big enough harvest this year to meet most of their customers’ needs for 2013.

Both Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer have seed corn fields in parts of Nebraska that require irrigation. The Monsanto Corn Production Facility on the east side of Kearney, Neb., is the company’s farthest west seed processing plant, according to

However, Monsanto also has fields in South America to produce seed that can help fill in for any U.S. shortages.

“We do recommend that farmers talk with their dealers or sales reps and order early to ensure they get their first or second choices of hybrids,” Danielle Stuart, Monsanto public affairs manager, told about seed supplies for 2013.

Mike O’Neill of Kearney, an account manager for DuPont Pioneer, said, “Most of the (Pioneer) supply we get in this part of the world in Nebraska and the western United States was planted at York and Doniphan.”

Regardless of seed being available for 2013, it looks like the top quality, high traited seed could be in limited supply. Farmers are encouraged to buy early to ensure access to corn with the top traits.

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