Oregon grass, legume seed production bounced back in 2012-13

The recession knocked down Oregon’s grass seed industry, but the 2012-13 harvest report shows it is recovering and finding economic balance.   

Oregon’s grass and legume seed industry continued its recovery in 2012-13, reaching a value of nearly $462 million, according to a report from Oregon State University.

The 13.6 percent increase in production value over the previous year came despite only a 2 percent increase in grass seed acreage, which accounts for 90 percent of the combined crop value. That indicates strong seed prices, said William C. Young III, professor emeritus at OSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Science.

The value increase is good news for growers, but still falls well short of the record $550 million recorded in the pre-recession years of 2007-08, Young said.

In addition, Oregon’s grass seed acreage last year, 415,916 acres, was 21 percent less than was harvested in the peak years of 2004-05.

“Perhaps, however, this two-year plateau of between 408,000 and 415,916 acres presents a better balance in supply and demand economics,” Young wrote in his annual report.

Legume seed crop acreage actually declined slightly from 2011-12, but the $44 million production value was a new record, Young reported.

Click here for the original article at Capital Press.

Pure Seed Hires New Director of Forage Development

Pure Seed is happy to announce Sam Cable as the new Director of Forage Development.  Sam’s experience and knowledge will aid in the further development of Pure Seed’s forage program.

Pure Seed has been in the forage business for decades, and has been looking to grow and expand that sector of the business. We are excited to welcome Sam as the newest member of our team, and look forward to all the expertise he will bring.

Please feel free to contact Sam directly with any questions at sam@pureseed.com. A copy of the full press release is here.

NASS: Oregon Grass Seed Acreage Increases

By Eric Mortenson
Capital Press–

In a contiinued modest recovery, Oregon grass seed plantings increase slightly from 2013.

A survey of Oregon grass seed growers shows they’ve planted more perennial and annual ryegrass than in 2013, according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service.

Tall fescue plantings for turf also are up slightly from last year, NASS reported. Forage and K-31 lawn type tall fescue plantings are the same as 2013.

Roger Beyer, executive director of the Oregon Seed Council, said the increased acreage available for harvest in 2014 is evidence of a continued modest recovery of the grass seed industry, which like nursery plant production is linked to development and fell hard when the housing market collapsed five years ago.

“I’m pleased it’s up, I’m also pleased it’s up only slightly,” Beyer said. “In the past we’ve had a habit of over-production.”

As things now stand, growers are looking at a “pretty positive market” and are cautiously optimistic, Beyer said.

Grass seed production of all types was Oregon’s sixth most valuable crop in 2012, worth $411 million.

Annual ryegrass plantings total 129,000 acres this year, up from 128,000 harvested in 2013. Perennial ryegrass plantings are at 112,000 acres, up from 99,000 last year. Tall fescue turf plantings are at 118,000 acres this year, compared to 110,000 in 2013. Forage fescue and K-31 and other fescue types remain stable at 15,000 acres and 13,000 acres, respectively.

Beyer said annual ryegrass plantings have held steady at about 120,000 acres a year, but in peak years growers planted 180,000 to 190,000 acres of perennial ryegrass.

Growers reported overall crop conditions to be “fairly good,” according to NASS, although some stands have browning due to freeze damage. Some growers reported having trouble establishing new plantings due to slugs, cutworms and voles.

Click here to read the original article from the Capital Press