By and large, forage seed supply for spring plantings looks to be in good shape to support what is expected to be higher demand for new seedings. After a challenging production year, especially in the Midwest due to a late spring and persistent drought, alfalfa fields and forage pasture conditions are considered generally poorer than average.
Alfalfa will again have good availability across the spectrum of fall dormancies and trait packages, and seed prices are expected to be stable to slightly higher. Red clover and white clover are two legume species to watch as the 2023 crop was challenged in the primary North American production areas and white clover stocks are low globally.
Forage sorghum and sorghum-sudangrass hybrid seed production also saw challenges, and it is expected that supplies will be lower than average.
Similar to the format shared in previous outlooks, the table below outlines the supply picture for most popular forage species. Common (C) and improved (I) supplies are noted in parenthesis, and maturities are separated if there are differences in the outlook for the species. If there is no designation, the supply rating applies to both common and improved options as well as maturities for the species. The “extremely tight” designation indicates that the species will likely sell out at some point in the season. As always, please check with your local supplier for specific variety availability.
This article appeared in the November 2023 issue of Hay & Forage Grower on page 20.
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