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Old 04-06-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
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Weather and Economy causing seed shortage?

I've been reading and seeing some reports on the news about there being a "projected" seed shortage for common garden vegetables this year and possibly for another year or two from the major seed suppliers.

It appears there are several factors at work to cause this. First, there has been a draught in areas that normally grow "seed" crops the past couple of years. Another is that less acres were planted for seed crops last year in favor of more profitable "bio-fuel" crops. Finally, the economy has more people raising their own gardens and thus placing a greater demand on seeds?

I remember both of my grandmothers letting some things "go to seed" so they would have seeds for the next years crop. I was wondering - does anyone still follow the old ways and do this today?


"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:45 PM   #2
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My father never ever bought seeds. He scavenged all his things..He would come here for dinner and go home with seeds from tomatoes, melons,corn..Then what he grew, he let some go to seed and used it the next season...He even fooled around with lettuces if it had sees, dad was on it Buy it you got to be kidding not my thrifty Irish dad

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Old 04-06-2009, 09:35 PM   #3
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I read something to that "projected" seed shortage.
In my own opinion here.I did wonder if it was just a marketing ploy by the seed company's to sell seeds in this economy.
They know it's bad,and people are starting to grow their own gardens.If you mention shortages in that market people will buy.
It's all just a guess if there really is or will be a seed shortage.
Just my take on the subject.

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Old 04-07-2009, 05:19 AM   #4
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no, I do not save my own seeds. Virtually all my seeds come with a F1 behind their names! There is a reason for hybrid seeds.....I have tried eating open pollinated vegetables......hybrids are a vast improvement in flavor, size, storability, vitamin content, etc...

I have not come across this seed shortage issue in the press. I have been a loyal purchaser of my garden seeds from a small, worker owned, seed company, Johnny's Selected Seeds, in Albion Maine. I figure they will give firsts dibs to loyal customers if a seed shortage occurs.

I do have a several cultivars of bean seeds in the freezer, if things get really bad. One being a black eyed pea developed by a friend of the family..
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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I used to save Corn, Okra, Peas, Butter bean seeds etc. I haven't in years however...Looks like I may have to start back...
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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I haven't heard anything about a seed shortage. The feed and seed store where we bought a lot of our seeds seem to have as many as ever.
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:13 PM   #7
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I have read about the supposed seed shortage on some other sites but haven't encountered it in the stores here. I save my own open pollinated seeds for use the following year.

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Old 04-08-2009, 04:50 PM   #8
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Any links or references to these "stories" about seed shortages? Because I haven't come across them, & the seed companies I deal with (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Cooks Garden, John Scheepers, & others) have been very well supplied.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:26 PM   #9
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Breezy - this was all over the news a few weeks ago - ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC - both the nationl programs in the morning and the local affiliates in the evening news. It was mentioned on the Farm and Ranch News I watch on Sunday morning (0500) and it was mentioned on a local gardening show on our local PBS station. CNN picked up on it when the Obama's decided to turn a portion of the White House lawn into a vegetable garden.

There is already a shortage of some "commercial" farm seeds - wheat, soybeans, corn. These were traded on the commodities market - resulting in a 15%-20% decrease in the seed supply for US farmers. This also translates into a decrease in seeds we have to ship overseas to impoverished 3rd world countries.

The projection of a shortage for the home grown vegetables is based on the increased orders from commercial home garden seed suppliers - Burpee is just one.

I'm sure if you really want to track these stories down you could Google - network by network.

I'll give you one site where others have seen and read the same things: Shortage of seeds - is this a normal thing? (iVillage GardenWeb forum)

There is also an Associated Press article, Dollars from dirt: Economy spurs home garden boom that mentions the seed shortage.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:38 AM   #10
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I save my seeds from tomatillas, tomatoes, peppers and squash. I started with heirloom seeds from an online supplier.

I also have some (a gallon) of high bush cranberry seeds if anyone wants some. I've heard they have a two year germination cycle but they are a nice bush to have around.~Bliss

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