The dicamba issues from 2017 continue to loom large for 2018 soybean seed orders. As training sessions have continued on the label changes and application requirements for the dicamba products in 2018, farmers have been waiting to make their soybean seed purchase decisions in what seems to be a generally sluggish soybean-ordering season.
For those still holding off on making soybean orders because of unanswered dicamba questions, tight budgets, market uncertainty, or the tough agricultural economy, placing orders sooner is probably more beneficial than closer to the quickly approaching planting season.
“Seed companies are packaging and treating what has been ordered. If you wait too long you may be limited on seed treatment options and your first choice of varieties may not be what you get. You may have to get something different or go up or down on maturity. We are starting to sell out of things. Plus you miss all of the early order discounts,” said Stuart Yensel, with Seed Consultants, Inc. “If you want bulk or Pro boxes you may not be able to get that with late orders. We have been delivering seed since October. There is still time but if you wait until right before planting season the traits, packaging, varieties, delivery times, and prices you get will be at the mercy of the seed company. There is a lot that goes into the cycle of producing seed and it is a process that takes time.”
The changing soybean traits have created challenges for seed purchase decisions, but there have been many training sessions concerning dicamba and countless winter meetings to help sort out the details.
“For months now there has been confusion about soybean technology, particularly with weed control,” said John Schartman with Pioneer. “Some of that is waning away now though as the growers are dialing into what they want. We have more technology now than what we have seen for soybeans and it adds complexity to the decision for soybeans this year. We have seen a little indecision this year, but not too much.”
Interestingly, AgriGold offers only soybeans with dicamba resistance and sales have exceeded expectations for the seed company that only started selling soybeans for the 2017 growing season.
“Because we are new to soybeans we don’t have much history with beans to compare, but we are not seeing that hesitation because we are above our projected sales for beans,” said Nick Brackman with AgriGold. “We only have one soybean platform: Roundup Ready 2 Xtend technology containing both dicamba and glyphosate herbicide tolerance, take it or leave it. We were nervous about going with soybeans but we have really adapted to it and this year’s sales have exceeded our expectations.”