If you expect to plant new pasture, hay, or even ornamental forages this spring, order your seeds early because many types are in short supply, advises University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist Bruce Anderson.
Spring frost, summer drought, and competition for land have reduced the supply of many forage seeds for spring, he reports. Specifically, Anderson says, Alfalfa should have enough seed to meet demand but some varieties will be in very short supply. You also will find much less so-called cheap seed available, and this cheap seed will be closer in price to the premium varieties than it has been in a long time. Since savings might be small, consider buying the very best varieties available, adds Anderson.
Other legumes, like clovers and birdsfoot trefoil, as well as native legumes, are in short supply so if you are planning any pasture renovation, get your seed now while you still can.
Native warm-season grass supply also is tight, but most species should be able to meet demand. Specific varieties, though, are very short so if variety selection is important to you, and it should be, check out your options soon.
Summer annual grasses like millets and forage sorghum will be tight but there should be enough seed to meet average demand.
According to Anderson, possibly the tightest market will be for cool-season grasses, especially orchardgrass, but also bromegrass and some wheatgrasses.