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Conventional soybean or wheat seed?

Order forms for Arkansas Foundation Seed Program offerings are mailed out in January. The seed is released in March.

Growers wanting seed need to contact Debra Ahrent, program associate for the program.

“With new releases — like with (conventional soybean) UA4910 — we have a priority status where we work with the Arkansas Plant Board,” says Ahrent. “Producers who have gone through all the paperwork and requirements to be a Certified Seed Grower are the first to receive the seed. After that, it’s released on a first-come/first-served basis.”

How much UA4910 will be available?

“It’s dependent on the harvest and other factors so it’s hard to provide solid numbers. There were approximately 40 acres of it planted.”

Anyone interested may want to make a quick call to Ahrent who has noticed a recent “rise in interest in conventional soybeans. It’s interesting that I get a lot of phone calls from out of the state looking for seed. (Weed) resistance and the cost of seed” are often cited as driving factors.

Currently, a 50-pound bag of soybean seed runs $25 and treated rice seed is $40. If any were available, bags of treated wheat costs $17.

“I’m getting calls for wheat seed but we have none,” says Ahrent. “We’ve completely sold out.”

For the past few years, very few growers have ordered wheat seed. This is understandable, says Ahrent, because many growers “couldn’t get rid of their own certified seed.

“We plan for seed a year in advance. Last year, growers placed very limited wheat orders. That meant only a limited amount of acreage was planted to take care of the orders. We’d been stuck with a lot of seed for the last several years — and that seed has to be properly disposed of because it’s treated.

“So, this year, we didn’t have much wheat seed available beyond what orders were placed. We ran out very quickly.”

To reach Ahrent,call the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart at (870) 673-2661 or e-mail dahrent@uark.edu.

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