Marzo 2005

March 2005

Crop Watch

While the Southwest suffers from too much water, the Northwest is nervously wondering what they are going to do without their normal winter precipitation. In Idaho, snowpack is 50% of normal. Conditions in Washington are much grimmer with only 16% of average snowpack. Spokane, WA, in the heart of bluegrass country, had the driest February since 1881. Oregon’s snowpack is 30% of normal. Eugene, OR, considered part of the “South Valley”, has had only 12.72 inches of rainfall over the past five months, down 21+ inches from the normal 34.08 average for Oct-Feb. Fortunately, early fall moisture and a mild winter have given seed crops a good start. What’s the long-term forecast for spring? More of the same: above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation. Let’s hope the forecasters are wrong.

Market Watch

The industry moved a pile of tall fescue last summer and fall! According to the Oregon Tall Fescue Commission’s July-Dec 2004 numbers, over 102.7 million lbs. of Tall Fescue ‘moved’. That number is up over 24 million from the year before! The average for the past 5 years has been about 94 million lbs.

Legal Matters

Pennsylvania has recently amended their seed laws. Changes include:

  • Extended germination dates. Cool season grass germination times are now 15 months. The state now requires a “sell by” date on the tag.
  • Licensing and address. If your company’s name is on the tag, you must have a PA seed dealer’s license and include your complete mailing address on the tag.

There are other details that may be important for you to know if you sell into the state of Pennsylvania. Contact Joe Garvey at 717-787-5609 for additional information. New Jersey has also gone to a 15-month germination period and a “sell by” statement. Contact Floyd Yoder at 609-292-5443 for more details.


Smith Seed now has a website. Although far from complete, it is up and running. Come learn more about our varieties as well as many of our services. Even see what some of us look like in action! We hope to make it a helpful tool to our customers; so any feedback you can give us will be very helpful.

Did You Know?

Natural turf is still the preferred playing surface by NFL football players? In a recent survey of the NFL Player’s Association, nearly 90% of respondents said they prefer playing on natural grass fields . Over 95% said they believed artificial surfaces were more likely to contribute to injuries. Visit www.greenmediaonline.com for the complete story.

Coupled along with this survey, the Journal of American Medicine just published a study that suggest over 56% of NFL football players would be considered obese by most medical standards. (Sounds like these boys need a SAFE place to fall!)