World’s top forage seed firm picks up Pickseed


One of Canada’s top forage seed and turfgrass companies is poised to become part of the world’s biggest.

The Ontario-based Pickseed Companies Group, with operations across Canada and in Oregon, will be formally acquired Friday by Danish grass and clover seed firm DLF-Trifolium for an undisclosed sum.

Pickseed’s owners Tom and Martin Pick, sons of company founder Otto Pick, signed a sale agreement with DLF last month for the company and all its operations across North America, which today represent about US$100 million in annual sales.

“We felt that it was important to sell to an entity that would have a good cultural fit with Pickseed. We are confident that DLF-Trifolium as a dedicated turfgrass and forage crop seed company will be able to carry forward and develop the Pickseed business and legacy,” the Pick brothers said in a release.

DLF CEO Truels Damsgaard in July described the Pickseed deal as “a major strategic step forward” for his company.

“Pickseed is a true turfgrass and forage crop seeds company, and it has a strong organization with dedicated employees,” he said. “We have a common understanding of the products and everything entailed in this segment of the seeds industry.”

DLF, Damsgaard said, is “looking forward to developing the Pickseed business in North America, and to further develop a strong platform to promote DLF-Trifolium forage products in Canada, and to bring the Pickseed product potential through the DLF-Trifolium global network.”

Pickseed started in 1947 as Otto Pick Agricultural Service, focused on direct sales of improved forage seed to southern Ontario livestock producers, based on the then-relatively-new concept of “permanent pasture.”

Otto Pick’s sons and his wife Marie took over the business following his death in 1959, expanding into turfgrass products and expanding both west and east with a Manitoba seed production unit, a processing plant in Winnipeg and a distribution site at St-Hyacinthe, Que.

The company later expanded into the U.S. in the 1970s through Oregon-based Pickseed West, and took over one of Canada’s biggest forage and turfgrass seed businesses, the seed division of Maple Leaf Mills, in 1981.

Based at Lindsay, about 40 km west of Peterborough, starting in 1993, Pickseed’s acquisitions since then have included Oregon-based Roberts Seed Co.; Agribiotech Canada; Land o’ Lakes’ forage and turf arm Seed Research of Oregon; and, in 2008, the Nipawin, Sask. forage seed business of Regina’s FarmPure Seeds.

Operating under the Pickseed, Mapleseed, Seed Research of Oregon and TurfOne brand names, the company now has facilities at Lindsay, Winnipeg, St-Hyacinthe, Nipawin, Edmonton, Dawson Creek and Abbotsford, B.C., and in the U.S. at Corvallis and Tangent, Ore.

Pickseed’s buyer, which bills itself as the world’s biggest producer of grass and clover seed, started as a Danish farmers’ seed co-operative in 1906. That co-operative, DLF AmbA, still owns 95 per cent of DLF-Trifolium.

DLF now operates subsidiaries in Denmark, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Holland, France, the Czech Republic and New Zealand and books sales of over US$350 million per year, holding a worldwide market share of about 20 per cent in the grass and cool-season clover business. — Network

Read the original article here.

Sprague Pest Solutions Names Lance Gray As Eugene Service Center Manager

Tacoma, Wash. – Sprague Pest Solutions announces the promotion of Lance Gray to the position of Service Center Manager of its Eugene, Oregon service center.

Gray joined Sprague in 2009 as a service technician and worked his way up to Operations Manager for Eugene and the Southern Oregon coast market prior to his promotion.

“Lance Gray is one of those rare individuals with hands-on talent and a gift for leadership,” says Jeff Miller, general manager of Sprague Pest Solutions, the United States’ 32nd largest pest management service provider. “We are fortunate to have Lance leading our growing Eugene operation.”

Sprague, which currently operates service centers in Eugene and Portland, has been servicing commercial and residential customers in the Oregon market since the early 1990s. The company specializes in providing custom pest management solutions for a wide array of Oregon industries including agriculture, hospitality, food processing, food service, transportation and healthcare.

Sprague Pest Solutions, founded in 1926, delivers innovative pest solutions to commercial and residential pest management customers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. Sprague is a Copesan Services partner.

Read the original press release here.

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Media Contact:
Carrie Thibodeaux Sprague Pest Solutions 253/405-2590 /

Boy Mows Lawns, Raises $16K for Tornado Victims

ABC News Blogs —

An 11-year old boy has raised $16,000 mowing lawns across Texas, all for tornado victims in Moore, Okla.

“It really feels good,” Dyllon Orthman of Dalhart, Texas, told ABC News. “I help them because they need the money, and they help me because it makes me feel good.”

Dyllon got the idea from a school fundraiser in June.

“Dyllon’s school was raising money for the Oklahoma tornado victims, and Dyllon asked if he could bring in $20 for the fundraiser,” his mother, Kristi Orthman, told ABC News.

“I told him that he could make the $20 if he mowed lawns.”

That night Dyllon told his mom that he wanted to spend the whole summer moving lawns for donations, she said.

“I have mowed 87 lawns so far,” Dyllon said, and he has raised $16,000, according to his mother.

The money has come from mowing lawns and from independent donations. One Oklahoma company donated $10,000 to tornado victims on behalf of Dyllon Orthman, said Dyllon’s his mother.

“Every single penny is donated to OK Strong, a disaster relief organization that has partnered with FEMA, which provides aid to the families affected by the May tornadoes,” Kristi Orthman said.

“I want to thank everybody who helped me,” Dyllon said. “Especially my mom, dad and sister. We had a lot of fun and laughter.”

“He’s just a wonderful boy,” Rose Marie Lopez, Dyllon’s grandmother, told ABC News. “He has no idea just how kind he really is.”

Read the original story here.

Important Meeting August 12 & 14

Oregon Department of Agriculture has asked us to share an opportunity with you. On August 12 & 14 the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will be holding listening sessions on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in Ontario (12th) and Yakima (14th). The meetings will be a good opportunity for growers, packers, and processors to learn more about the FSMA and provide feedback to the FDA. All of the details for the events can be found here.

Attendance by growers at these meetings will be important for several reasons. First, the FDA does not come to the Pacific Northwest very often so this is a great opportunity for Oregon farmers to interact with an important federal agency. Second, in recent years activists have showed up to these types of listening sessions and raised unrelated issues with the agencies to push their agendas. If no growers are there to speak, the agencies can leave with the impression that the activists are speaking for all Oregon farmers. With the FDA having some regulatory authority over pesticides and biotechnology (GMOs), it would not be surprising to see people opposed to those tools show up to these listening sessions and push their agenda. It is crucial that growers attend these meetings and make sure we do not miss any opportunities.

Please share this meeting announcement within your group and encourage members to attend. It would be great if association and commission executives and board members could attend these important meetings.

Paulette will be attending the Ontario meeting, but in the meantime please let us know if you have any questions.


Scott, Paulette & Sandi

Scott Dahlman
Executive Director
Oregonians for Food & Shelter (OFS)
o. 503.370.8092


OSU George Hyslop Professorship Fund Report

The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Oregon State University recently published a report on its George Hyslop Professorship Endowment Fund for 2012-2013. The fund is used to enhance and focus research and education efforts both in teaching and Extension on specific problems of the Oregon seed grass industry.

Click here to read the full report.

OSU Turf Management Professorship Endowment Fund Report

The Horticulture Department at Oregon State University recently published a report on the management of its Turf Management Professorship Endowment Fund, which supports the sole turf faculty position in the department. The report details how funds were used during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Click here to read the full report.

2013 OSU Turf Field Day and Golf Outing

OSA members are invited to the 2013 OSU Turf Field Day on September 13.  Attached is a PDF of the registration form, and below is a link to the online registration form.

2013 OSU Turf Field Day and Golf Outing


OSU Seed Lab Update- July 2013

Attached is an update from the OSU Seed Laboratory, which reports how testing was flowing at the lab at the end of July.

OSU Seed Lab Update- July 2013