Aside from the East Coast having too much rain in spots, this spring has been pretty positive for most distributors. There have been a good share of ‘nice weather’ weekends that have helped those with a retail focus, as well as enough clear days for professionals to get some dirt turned. This week the Oregon Seed Commissions released third quarter numbers. Some interesting items from the reports:
- Perennial ryegrass assessments for the quarter were over 49 million lbs. That is the largest assessment level reported in the past five years for the same quarter (Jan-Mar).
- Annual and gulf ryegrass assessments for the quarter were about the same as last year for the same period. Both years’ third quarters were significantly higher than 2001 and 2002 same quarter.
- Less than 1 million lbs. (865,701) of ryegrass field mixtures were reported, compared to 4 years ago, when over 3 million lbs. of field mixtures were reported for the same quarter.
- Tall Fescue assessments for the third quarter were 59 million lbs., which is 9 mil lbs. more than last year. This would indicate that usage has been very good. Indications are that prices may be up this fall.
Overall, crops continue to look good. We are still several inches below average rainfall. Most crops seem to be a week or so ahead of schedule. This week has been cool, with a few light showers.
New NTEP Reports Out
Five new NTEP reports have been posted at www.ntep.org. As many of you know, hard copies of these reports are no longer sent out, but can be accessed through the web or via a CD Rom disk. Additionally, remember to look at the LSD (least statistical difference) for each set of data you are looking at. For instance, the latest Tall Fescue Report has 160 entries, meaning that sometimes multiple PAGES of varieties are all statistically equal. In our review, we found FIVE trial sites where the LSD was larger than the entire difference between the highest entry and the lowest entry! One other caution, before you just pull up a report and press “PRINT”, make sure you have lots of paper in your printer; the entire tall fescue report, including the individual sites is over 230 pages!
Smith Seed Tall Fescues Have Impressive Characteristics
Speaking of the New NTEP Reports, here ARE some highlights we observed.
Data taken from both years shows Titan Ltd. to be a solid variety that has great density and ground coverage throughout the year. Maybe that’s due in part to it rhizome features, or simple a characteristic of a well-bred variety. Brown patch resistance.
This variety is already being recognized for its attractiveness. A new set of data was taken in Georgia - fall color ratings in September, October, and December. To no surprise, Rendition had either the highest score, or just a couple points from the highest at all three rating times.
This variety is looking like one of those that simply gets better and better over time. For those in cooler and/or drier climates, such as Washington, Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas, this might be a variety you make sure is part of your program.
Covenant (ATF 802)
2004 harvest will be the first time this variety will be available. Second-year data indicated very impressive density and the highest rating given for December color.