Some Maine seed companies have been suspending ordering and delaying shipments this year. But unlike last year, it’s not because of seed shortages. Instead, it’s due to the staffing shortages and challenges caused by the pandemic, companies say.
“Demand has been high through the last several months compared to average years, but we have seen that really ramp up over the last several weeks,” said Joshua D’Errico, marketing manager at Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Waterville.
Gardeners ordering seeds might have noticed delays in their seed orders — or, in some cases, companies limiting and restricting home gardeners’ ability to order seeds altogether. This isn’t because of a shortage of seeds, though. D’Errico said that while their supply of some gardening tools is low due to the increased demand and decreased production resulting from the pandemic, the seed supply is relatively stable.
“In any given year, we experience seed shortages and seed crop failures, limiting some varieties’ availability,” D’Errico said. “That said, we do not expect any seed shortages outside of what can occur in an average year.”
Why the slowdown?
Due to the pandemic, staffing at seed companies is restricted to keep employees safe. However, that means that it’s taking more time to fill orders in a timely manner. As a result, seed companies have made changes to keep up with the orders.
“We can only have a certain number of people filling…