Annual ryegrass sales were softer than desired this past month resulting in several notches down in the wholesale price. Encouragingly, southern activity has begun to increase and ryegrass movement is picking up. Cool season grass seed sales throughout the Northeast and Midwest have been somewhat lackluster for many distributors. For those of you who have had increases over last year, there’s a good likelihood it’s due to increased market share – hats off to you! Orchardgrass and tall fescue movement has been less than hoped for - just too many green pastures and lawns. Bluegrass and perennial ryegrass spring markets seem to be holding strong, with a continued booking ahead on specific perennial ryegrass varieties. White clover prices are up and will likely stay high thru spring. Yuchi is in strong hands also.
The Willamette Valley is still dry. Some areas had enough rain earlier in the month for a sprout, but no rain has fallen in the past two weeks. Perennial ryegrass appears to be the crop with the most increase in acres. Other crop acreages don't appear to be changing significantly.
Smith Seed Services announces its latest forage release – Bestfor Plus tetraploid Hybrid ryegrass. Bestfor Plus is a new specialty forage grass particularly useful in applications such as dairy and beef grazing operations, where high yields, excellent digestibility, and exceptional palatability are desirable. It’s high feed value, fast growth and impressive digestibility levels encourage rapid weight gain on any livestock.
Similar in performance to other hybrid ryegrasses such as Bison, Bestfor, and Tetrelite, Bestfor Plus was bred specifically for increased rust resistance, maximum persistence, rust resistance, later maturity, and very fast establishment. In official university trials at Penn State in the fall of 2003, Bestfor Plus was two inches higher than all other entries after only two weeks of initial growth! In annual ryegrass trials in Alabama and Texas, Bestfor Plus out-yielded many popular annual varieties, even though Bestfor Plus is a multi-year ryegrass. Bestfor Plus is currently in university trials in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, and Maryland to better evaluate its multi-year longevity and regional adaptability. Limited supplies are available for this fall and spring 2004. Ask your Smith Seed Representative for more information and a detailed product brochure.
Did You Know?
It’s already that time of year to be looking toward upcoming industry meetings. We will have Jonathan Rupert at the Atlantic Seed Association in Norfolk, Virginia as well as the regular crew at the Western in Kansas City. If you are going to one of these meetings, we’d love to visit. And if we don’t call you first, please call us to set up a meeting time. See you there!
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