An official with Minnesota's Ag Department says farmers should be able to find some type of corn seed to plant this spring, but the most popular varieties may not be available. High prices have farmers all over the country boosting corn acreage. Minnesota expects about a ten percent increase over last year.
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High commodity prices have a side effect for farmers: a shortage of seeds
Strong crop prices have farmers around the country planting more acreage. Ag officials are advising growers to get their seeds now because the most popular varieties of corn may not be available later.
Minnesota farmers plant 3 million acres of corn in a week
Minnesota corn farmers are expected to plant a record number of acres this spring. And nearly half those acres are already planted by the end of April. It's an improvement over last year, when a soggy spring delayed planting and pushed back the whole growing season.
Minnesota farmers could face shortage of seed corn
Major seed companies including, Twin Cities-based Syngenta, saw production fall 15 to 25 percent last summer because of poor weather conditions. The President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association told MPR the reduced seed supply is starting to cause concerns among farmers eager to plant the high profit commodity.
USDA: Minnesota farmers will plant seven percent more corn in 2012
However, soybean and wheat crops will drop as much as eight percent because corn is more profitable. Minnesota's corn crop was valued at $7 billion last year. Corn planting is also expected to increase about four percent nationwide.
High price of corn idles Little Falls ethanol plant
The Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-Op has suspended operations until they can buy corn or sell ethanol at a better price, the St. Cloud Times reports. The Little Falls plant is using the downtime to complete maintenance and other projects, but most of the 30 employees are out of work.
EPA: Monsanto corn may be losing effectiveness against bugs in Minnesota, other states
An agency investigation says a genetically modified version of corn may be losing its effectiveness to ward off rootworms in Minnesota and three other big corn-producing states. The pest may be developing a resistance to the plant's pesticide. Business Week says the bug is among the most destructive corn pests and costs farmers about $1 billion a year.
Last year's Minnesota corn crop comes in at record $7 billion
Even though production was down, Minnesota's corn crop was worth a best-ever $7 billion. The estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture tops the previous record the year before. The state's soybean crop was down 13 percent from 2010.
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