November 2015

November 2015

Crop and Market Talking Points

Below are a few notes about the current crop, market activity, and expectations for the coming spring. As always, take them with a grain of salt and let us know if you have reached different conclusions. Together, we should be able to make some educated guesses that will help both of us.

Annual Ryegrass

After a rough start, the overall fall annual ryegrass season has been very nice, with few shipping issues, good usages and stable pricing for the majority of the season. Current Oregon inventories are neither tight nor burdensome for Gulf. Proprietary tetraploid movement was excellent. Pricing throughout the distribution-dealer-farmer levels appears to be acceptable to all. We don’t expect any dramatic changes in the near future on Gulf or tetraploid unless international activity creates more demand. Interest in turf annual ryegrass continues to grow.

Perennial Ryegrass

Forage perennial ryegrass supplies are good on select varieties with price stable. Turf-type perennial ryegrass availability is notably better than last year and should suffice for spring needs. Quality is good as well. Prices should remain stable, perhaps weaken a bit if distributors have excessive fall inventories.

Forage Tall Fescue

Oregon-grown Kentucky-31 movement has been excellent this year. There is limited uncommitted spring seed available and growers who own seed are holding onto it. We don’t see this easing up anytime soon. Fawn, on the other hand is in good supply due to lackluster exports. Domestic usage of fawn continues to diminish.

Turf-type Tall Fescue

Overall usage of turf-type tall fescue has been good this fall. Availability in general for spring is good. As usual, higher-demand varieties have limited supply and less popular varieties will be more readily available. This typically results in a bit of a price spread prior to new crop, depending on carryover at both the distributor level and primary level. Otherwise, expect stability for spring.


We started off with near-zero carryover. Usage has been very good, considering obtaining seed from growers has been very challenging and prices have increased throughout the selling season. Currently, there are more buyers than sellers for winter/spring orchardgrass. We expect the pain to continue.

Medium Red Clover

Harvest was off by at least 1/3 and carryover was light. With most of the usage of medium red coming in the spring of the year, growers use the fall and early winter months to clean their seed. The cleaning process is slower than grass. This year, growers are very reluctant to price their seed, wanting to wait until they have actual clean lots before committing to a price. Expect tight inventories and high prices, at least through March.

Crimson Clover

Extra carryover and a good crop has led to lower prices. It feels like this one has bottomed. Expect flat or slightly higher prices throughout the rest of the crop year.

Hairy Vetch

Movement was excellent this year, gobbling up all domestic and as much imported material as could be found. Expect late spring prices to be the same or possibly higher than the current market, as foreign-grown seed becomes available in May.

White Clover

Supplies for both ladino and intermediate types are adequate in common and public varieties. Certified seed is limited. Prices seem stable.

Winter Pea

Pea movement was good this year, as was supply. Early activity for 2016 crop shows an anticipation of slightly lower prices and sufficient carryover to make the summer 2016 shipments more manageable than recent years.

Daikon Radish

Movement was decent this season. Price seems stable.