August 2003

August 2003

Market Watch

What a month July turned out to be!! As the crop reports came in, markets responded in the obvious fashion: Prices rose, people tried to figure out whether they should book ahead, prompt needs got bought quickly, and everyone who had carryover sighed a big relief, now knowing that they would not be marking down inventory, but might actually make enough extra margin to compensate for prior lack of sales. Stopping to take a look back a year, it is interesting to compare current market prices to those of last August. Take a look at the following:

  • Annual ryegrass – up 16%
  • Perennial Rye – up 50+%
  • Creeping Red Fescue - up 29%
  • Bluegrass – up 29%
  • Orchardgrass – down 12%
  • Tall Fescue – up 5+%

Crop Talk

By now you’ve probably heard many reports on this year’s crop yields. With most of the grass crops out of the field now, it’s clear by “dirt weights” that the combination of last fall’s dry weather and the hot period just before harvest had a negative impact on Valley crops. This would go for all Valley produced grasses, with perennial ryegrass being the hardest hit, followed by orchardgrass, then annual and tall fescue. Additionally, Northwest bluegrass fields produced overall below average yields. There were some isolated fields that yielded as little as 1/3 of their normal yield, some that yielded average or better. But overall, yields were below average. Although harvest is still to come for clovers, the predictions are not very positive.


The following is a copy of a recent press release on Rendition:

New Tall Fescue Provides Density Without Disease -The latest National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) data is reporting notable performance scores for Rendition Tall Fescue. Rendition tall fescue has been bred to provide a dense, very dark green and exceptionally attractive turf. Unlike tall fescues of old, ones that have wide, coarse blades and open stands, Rendition produces a thick, slower-growing, dense lawn, with soft thinner leaves. The NTEP data confirms reports that Rendition is able to sustain a very dense, slow growing turf area, with little damage from disease. Data on brown patch and pink patch from the report showed Rendition to be very resistant to both diseases.

Rendition is a result of selections and synthetic crosses from 22 elite germplasms collected at Rutgers University in Maryland and at the breeder's Oregon research farm. Further screening of the offspring plants was made based on very dwarf growth habit, turf quality, straight growth form, very dark green color, rust resistance, stress resistance, and disease resistance.

Rendition produces healthy turf and is recommend for all professional and homeowner applications. Use for sod, golf courses, industrial lawns, home lawns, roadsides, and any location that an attractive, dense turf is desired.

Did You Know?

The Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) recently published their latest membership survey in Turf News Magazine (July/Aug ’03). Below are some notable findings from their survey of the sod industry:

  • The typical sod farm is about 400 acres, of which 260 acres is Kentucky bluegrass sod.
  • Each year about 130 of those acres will be harvested and sold, primarily during the months of May-June.
  • The sod will be shipped by their own trucks to destinations primarily between 31-50 miles from the farm.
  • Landscape contractors are the largest buyers (nearly 42%) with the second largest group being homeowners at 13.5%.
  • &Over 54% of installations go toward private residences. Commercial sites were second at 13.2%.

For a detailed report, contact TPI at 800-405-8873 or www.turfgrasssod.org.