Producers were given heavy incentives to order early for their 2012 seed corn supplies. It’s a trend that has become more prevalent, seed company representatives say.

“Over the long term, there has been a movement toward ordering earlier,” Bockhaus says. “Our sales staff completes the overwhelming majority of its invoicing prior to the end of December for products planted the next spring. One reason for that is the diversity of genetic choices offered and the need to get orders in early to get the choices they want. Also, we provide incentives to order early through our early pay savings program. In this past season, growers were ordering early for those reasons and concern about perceived seed shortages.”

Henley says that short supply years typically drive early ordering, early pay and a demand for earlier delivery.

Although many producers request a single delivery of their entire seed order, the complexities of hybrids being grown in South America may complicate that request. “This year, many producers were quite willing to take seed earlier and also take partial shipments,” Strachota says. “That is a definite change from prior years.”