After suffering through what could best be described as a challenging few years when it comes to supplying corn and soybean seed for U.S. producers, there’s a cautious optimism as this year’s supply makes its way through the supply chain and ultimately to producers’ planters for the 2014 growing season.

“We feel very positive about this year’s corn seed supply,” says Matthew Brandt, corn pricing lead for Monsanto. “Conditioning and packaging of our seed crops is underway now, and with harvest coming to a close, early indications are that we’re hitting and even exceeding our production targets in some hybrids.”

Scott Beck, vice president of Beck’s Hybrids, says this year’s weather patterns were generally favorable, as opposed to the drought and excessive heat experienced last year.

“Our seed supply looks very good, with seed yields and test weights above average,” Beck says. “As the seed comes through husk and sort, the seed quality looks excellent, with very little evidence of insect pressure. We were very fortunate this year to have cool temperatures during pollination. Weather conditions were ideal for seed production.”

Dan Case, DuPont Pioneer supply planning manager, says, “The cooler-than-normal temp-eratures seemed to delay the progression of the crop about one or two weeks behind what we would expect in a season with normal growing degree unit accumulation. However, this meant that a good majority of the crop flowered under conditions that were much less stressful from a heat standpoint, which lends itself to good pollination and kernel set.”

And the late extreme heat, which generally occurred after pollination, actually helped mature the crop and enabled plants to catch up, from a development standpoint.

Soybean seed production is also moving along, although planting delays in some areas of the country may impact final seed production.

“Some areas in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota saw planting delayed beyond normal planting windows,” Case says. “But beans are quite resilient; just a little bit of rain at the right time can have a significantly positive impact on the crop, and we have seen that in some areas. The balance of our seed acres looks to be in good shape this year, and I am anticipating good yields and quality.”