November 2013

November 2013

Market Watch

As you may be aware, fine fescue and bluegrass prices have jumped over the past four weeks. While the industry knew that inventories and harvested acres were low for both of these groups, it appears that the closure of fall converged with projected spring needs, forecasted harvests for 2014 and uncovered positions. Results were 10-15% jumps in prompt and future prices

 First quarter commission reports came out this month. These reflect grower movement of seed between July and September. Reports on movement for both Oregon grown creeping red and Chewings fescues were up substantially. Creeping red had the highest movement in four years, up 1 million lbs (145%) over last year. Chewings was up 73% , or 575,000 lbs. With Canadians reporting reduced 2014 acres, these numbers obviously played into the above noted fine fescue price increases.

Other notable items from the commission reports include a 20% fall in crimson pounds over last year, but still 20% higher than the prior year. Increased usage of coated crimson may also skew these numbers from correctly indicating usage. Nonetheless, having some available pre-harvest inventory will be nice for shipping next year.

The reports on annual ryegrass confirmed shipment of Gulf and common annual were down slightly (9%), while turf-type perennial ryegrass was up about 6%.

Tall fescue reports had contrasting number for KY-31 as compared to turf-type tall fescue. KY-31 movement was down 5.3 million lbs or 78%, undoubtedly due to the large Midwest crop. In contrast, turf-type numbers were up 6.5 million lbs (19%), and higher than each of the past four years besides 2011.

Cajun II Endophyte-Free Fescue Scoring High!

We continue to receive positive Cajun II data from recent forage trials throughout the land. Cornell University puts Cajun II ahead of varieties like BarOptimum Plus, Jessup MaxQ and Kentucky 32. Center stage at Princeton, KY, Cajun II shows more of the same - high yielding, early maturing, and strong stand life. Endophyte-free, it’s an affordable option to novel-endophtye fescues. Learn more at CajunFescue.com.

How Grass Grows Part 9 Seasonal Development:

“Cool-season grasses have a bi-modal growth pattern. Shoot growth begins with a strong spring flush (at 60-75°F,16-24°C) that eventually slows as flowering occurs (if not clipped). As summer progresses, shoot growth slows substantially and may stop given sustained high temperatures (>85°F, 29°C). As fall approaches, moderate vertical growth resumes accompanied by vigorous tillering. Maximum root growth occurs at slightly lower temperatures than shoot growth (50- 65°F, 10-18°C). Thus maximum root growth occurs in early spring and late fall.”

VA Tech’s How Grass Grow’s interactive presentation. See full presentation under our Resources at SmithSeed.com.

Illustration showing cool season grass growth patterns throughout the seasons.