Producers making 2011 seed purchases should find prices at or slightly above last year’s levels, and even some instances of prices lower than those of last year. It’s the newest hybrids and varieties that will be priced modestly higher. This is a welcome respite to the dramatic price increases seen over the past few growing seasons.

Seed costs jumped dramatically this past season from two years earlier, according to data from the University of Illinois. In 2008, seed costs were $67/acre for corn compared to $93/acre this year on highly productive farmland in central Illinois. Soybean seed prices were $43/acre in 2008 and $60/acre for soybean seed this past season. Early projections peg 2011 seed prices at $98/acre for corn and $62/acre for soybeans.