Seed Shortage Buries Hopes for Record Corn Crop

Corn prices may hit record high this year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2012 11:58 PM CST
Updated Jan 5, 2012 12:02 AM CST
Seed Shortage Buries Hopes for Record Corn Crop
Corn from various seed companies is displayed in a Pioneer seed exhibit booth during the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

American farmers had been planning the biggest corn planting since World War II this spring, but they're being thwarted by a seed shortage. Drought conditions in the Midwest and Great Plains last year have caused what dealers in the corn belt say is the biggest shortage of top-quality seeds they've ever seen, the Wall Street Journal finds. Corn prices hit a record $8 a bushel last spring, and commodities brokers say another disappointing crop this year could send prices as high as $10.

Big seed companies like Monsanto and DuPont downplayed the shortage, saying all it means is that some farmers may not be able to get their first seed choice. Suppliers may turn to South America for extra seed, but drought conditions have hurt the seed corn crop there as well. (More farming stories.)

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