Grain Sorghum Seed Not Unlimited for 2012 in the Carolinas

As we’ve been talking about for several months, grain sorghum is getting a great deal of interest in the Carolinas. Andrew Gardener, Sales Consultant with Pioneer Hi-Bred, based in Monroe, North Carolina says that the interest at last week’s Southern Farm Show was something of a surprise:

Pioneer: It’s a very good interest, more so than what I expected, more so than in years past, there’s a definitely a marked increase in interest.

SFN:  And what are you attributing that interest to?

Pioneer:  Ah, resistant pigweed is a big thing, the NRCS, I understand, has a program going supplementing some of it, and just primarily a rotation crop in areas that are not high yield corn environments.”

SFN:  As far as booking seed, seed supply, how is that going?

Pioneer:  It’s not unlimited, some of the supply, I’m not going to say is sold out, but you going to have to shop around, I’m afraid, to find what you want.”

SFN:  So, are you saying that time may be running out.

Pioneer:   It’s getting tighter and more difficult to lock in the supply, yes, ma’am.

SFN:   Are you finding that that’s because of the drought in Texas?

Pioneer:  I think that contributes a lot to it, I don’t know if that is the key, but that combined with increased demand definitely has led to some problems.

SFN:  And also, Trey Tyson, also with Pioneer Hi-bred, what would you like to add to that?

Pioneer:   One thing I’d like to tell everyone is that grain sorghum is not the answer, but it is a good place on these lighter lands where we’ve been putting corn year after year for rotation, you put grain sorghum there. Still, there’s a place for corn.”

SFN:  In people that you’re talking what are you really finding with them?

Pioneer:  Well, a lot like me, this is their first rodeo with grain sorghum….haven’t really had much experience in the past. A lot of the questions are populations, and they’re wanting to know what varieties are best to plant, just making sure that they have the safe in seed, and if they can spray Bicep, and things like that.”

SFN:  Now, I understand herein the Carolinas some of the hesitancy has been that some varieties are just not that tolerant to humidity.

Pioneer:  That’s true. But, we’ve got some fairly good varieties that I think….83G66 being one of our number one…it’s one that I think that people in the Carolinas are going to like, it’s positioned for lighter land, and I think that it will do better than some of the other varieties for the humidity, the heat and the drought stress.”

SFN:   Sam Lee, Field Representative for Pioneer Hi-bred discusses grains sorghum seed availability further:

Pioneer: Sorghum supply is getting really tight, because there’s new programs this year that’s putting a lot of  pressure on the acres, and we eventually are going to be out of sorghum before the season’s out, I’m afraid.

SFN:   Sam, base on the demand that you’re seeing today, here in the first of February how long do you expect the supply to hold out?

Pioneer:   I’d say probably two to three weeks, maybe 30 days at the most.


SFNToday.com is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. SFNToday.com presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.

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