How many of you have bird feeders out right now? Most bird watchers at one time or another have put out one or more feeders for our feathered friends. For myself personally, I normally don’t put mine out till late Autumn when food starts to become scarce.
So it came as quite a shock the other day when I went to my local Tractor Supply Store to pick up a few necessities. Has anyone else noticed the price of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds? I didn’t expect to take out a second mortgage to buy a bag of sunflower seeds. I normally would buy a 40 pound bag which ran you about $13.00-$14.00 dollars. Yesterday, double that amount.
So the detective in me started to do some sleuthing about to see if there is any reason for the spike in prices. One of the obvious reasons is the increase of gas and diesel fuel, however is that reason enough to raise seed prices this much. From what I’m finding is that there’s no definite answer, mostly speculation. And since we’re dealing with a commodity, speculation can influence the price of items such as corn, wheat, pork bellies, and sunflower seeds.
Some suggest that a wet Spring, which in turn delayed planting as a factor. The total amount of acreage planted has been tossed around as a reason also. Then someone went out on a limb and suggested that the farmers are manipulating prices by storing seed for a couple of years (as long as it stays dry) to drive up prices.
The silver lining to all of this is that the fall crop has been harvested, so if they are holding onto silos full of seed, they’ll need room for all the new seed they just harvested. Then hopefully we’ll see prices drop.
So in the end what are we going to do? For me I’ll buy smaller bags of sunflower seeds and wait. I could introduce a premium mix instead of straight sunflower seed, however in the past the birds turn their little beaks up at that an scatter it all over the ground to rot. I’d rather spend the extra money and have them eat it than have it go to waste. So lets just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.