Even I enjoy looking at seed catalogs during a cold winter and thinking about green plants growing next spring. Gardeners that have been trying to order or purchase seed for next spring have noticed many seed varieties are "sold out" and many companies have stopped taking orders. So, is there a seed shortage and is it because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

I saw a news release from Natalie Hoidal University of Minnesota Extension Educator Local Foods and Vegetables explaining the reasons for garden seed shortages. Sometimes there is not a shortage but rather packaging issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases there is an actual shortage due to "unprecedented demand. Yes, I guess with more people being at home they though why not plant a garden? There was a huge increase in demand last spring and it appears it will increase this year too!

So, check with the garden store or company you normally get your seed from soon. If you have questions a good resource would be your local University of Minnesota Master Gardeners. Check with your local or regional Extension office for their contact information plus there is more information on the University of Minnesota Extension Service website too. I guess now you know what it is like to be a farmer? We order up our seed months ahead of planting to make sure the corn hybrids and soybean varieties that are best suited for our farms are available.