To combat weather risks, as well as increased demand, companies have diversified the growing areas. “We grow across a wide range of the U.S., east to west and north to south,” reports Pioneer’s Messman. “We select high-performing, productive fields and more than two-thirds are irrigated. And we plant more seed than we expect to sell.”

As with most years, the most popular hybrids will be in great demand, which means supplies could be tight depending on the hybrid and geography.

“The seed industry always seems to come up with enough seed to cover acres,” Hartz says. “The issue, to a greater or lesser degree every year, is what seed each brand is going to have in significant inventory.”

Hartz explains that the key in building a good brand image is to have high inventories of the best seed products. “You need to have a strong portfolio of products to be successful today. You need three, four and five hybrids you can put on a farm that all have the capability to dominate. This year, it may be hard for many brands to build inventory of those key hybrids.”

But until actual product is bagged and shipped, it is difficult to accurately predict which products will actually be short, and in what geographies.