Marzo 2007

March 2007

Crop Watch (or should we say “Court Watch?)

The San Francisco based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ordered the EPA to reconsider its authorization of grass field burning in Idaho. As a response, the Idaho Dept. of Agriculture halted all burning, including fields of Kentucky bluegrass, wheat, and barley (except on Indian Reservations.) The Court decided that the EPA had not properly considered the potential health and environmental impacts of field burning. This ruling along with growing attractiveness of other crops, economics of growing bluegrass, and other pressures has helped strengthen the bluegrass market. It also appears that some major shifts in ownership of bluegrass cleaning facilities is under way, marking significant consolidation. What will all this do to consumption, price, shift of production to other areas? Certainly bluegrass will be one crop to watch this year!

Also, on February 14th, a Federal Court in Northern California ruled (for the first time ever) that the USDA failed to abide by federal environmental laws when it approved Roundup Ready alfalfa. The judge went on to order that a full Environmental Impact Statement must be carried out on the RR alfalfa. With existing acres in the ground and more on their way, this puts a big twist on the genetically engineered alfalfa market. Also, seeing that there are over 20 million acres of alfalfa grown in the US worth over $8 billion annually, many will be watching this one!

Kenway Red Clover logo

High Yield and Persistence

We’ve just updated our website to include recent data on our forage varieties. One notable update is on our Kenway Red Clover. First year data from New York and Wisconsin is reflecting what we have seen in Kentucky - Kenway is definitely a high-yielding clover, even in the first year. For more information visit www.smithseed.com!

New Forage Fescue

Have you heard about our latest forage addition - Hymark Tall Fescue? Hymark has been bred for better summer yields plus increased production in the 2nd and 3rd years. An endophyte- free, softer leafed variety, Hymark is worth taking a look at. Remaining supplies for this spring are limited. Act now to get some for this spring. Tests and more data available at www.smithseed.com!

Ed is one COOL ryegrass

If you are looking for a top-yielding cold tolerant annual ryegrass to add to your program, consider the ryegrass with the easy name, Ed! Recent data from trials in Scottsbluff, Nebraska rated Ed as having a 95% surviving stand, when some varieties only had a 13% stand, clearly indicating a significant difference in cold tolerance. Ed is a diploid annual ryegrass that was bred from the University of Florida. As a diploid, Ed is perfect for use in overseeding of warm season pastures as well as use in northern pasture formulations to give pastures a quick start. Also, for other short-term (1 year or less) applications, Ed can yield just as much, if not more than many other varieties. For more information visit www.smithseed.com and follow the links to Ed!