September 2007

September 2007

Crop Watch

Most likely you have heard some or all of the current pressures that appear to be not only real but long-term for all of us in the seed industry. But in case you haven’t here are a few things to watch:

  • The price of wheat, corn, soybeans, and other cash crops. In the Willamette Valley, growers tell us that they can afford to rotate into their perennial ryegrass fields profitably at $4/bushel wheat. Why wouldn’t they do it at $8 wheat?
  • The weather. You may not live in a part of the country that needs lots of re-seeding this fall or next spring, but certain parts of the country simply need lots of seed. Additionally, Canada has already experienced a killing frost in parts of the country that very well may affect next year’s crop.
  • The dollar. Our weak dollar continues to make our crops attractive to other countries. It also makes imports from Canada more expensive.

Grass Seed Growers “should pay allergy expenses”???

The following letter to the editor is real. The person’s name and the name of the newspaper was taken out. Why? Because we don’t want to be responsible for anything bad that you might want to do to them. Just read it and laugh, okay?

“My grass allergies were so bad the other night, I was up until two in the morning sneezing nonstop for five hours, to the point where I thought I had to go to the emergency room. All this despite being on three-dollar-a-day prescription allergy medicine.

In Eugene, we have the highest grass seed pollen count in the world, thanks to Linn County’s (“Grass Seed Capital of the World”) grass seed growers. While health hazards from grass field burning are finally in the public’s watering, bloodshot eye, why are we not addressing the misery of allergy sufferers that comes from simply growing the grass seed in the first place?

I propose that grass seed growers be held accountable for covering the costs of every allergy sufferer in the Willamette Valley. I, myself, will be sending copies of my allergy medicine receipts, along with a letter asking for financial reimbursement, to the industry lobby group Oregon Grass Seed Council...I encourage all other allergy sufferers to do the same.

Come to think of it, with all this recent talk of “sustainability,” why are we still wasting water, fossil fuels and topsoil to grow hundreds of thousands of acres of grass seed for ornamental lawns instead of the crops we need to feed ourselves?”

Eugene resident, 6/11/07

Hymark Yields Big

If you need a high yielding, strong summer producing forage tall fescue, consider Hymark. Supplies for ‘08 are limited, so please consider it quickly, even if you don’t need it until spring. Visit www.SmithSeed.com for more information or ask us to send you a tech sheet.

Did You Know?

Last year Oregon grass seed growers produced almost 790 million lbs. of grass seed? Did you also know that according to Oregon State University, Oregon’s grass seed typically germinates at rates up to 95%?This is just one of the reasons why Oregon is the world’s number one grass seed producer and why Oregon supplies almost 60% of the world’s grass seed.

Of course that is also why in years like this year, as well as last year, when carryovers are short that we have such a challenge at cleaning and testing fast enough. Think of it this way: You are standing in line with 60% of the rest of the WORLD’s grass seed users!