June 2018

June 2018

Harvest Has Begun

Since our report a month ago, the Willamette Valley has continued to enjoy weather favorable to growing grass seed. Aside from some drying out of high ground, most of the Valley looks to be in good condition. Windrowing of the earliest crops (crimson, forage tall fescue, annual ryegrass) have begun. Growers are expected to be in full harvest mode very soon. They will be focusing their time and energy on making sure our industry gets the world’s best Oregon-grown seed. With limited carryover, they will be scrambling extra hard to get seed out as fast as they can. Our hats are off to them

As for our customers and the distribution channel, the next month may be a bit painful. This is the time when we are so close to harvest that growers and companies find it best to usually wait until a steady stream of yield information is available before pricing their crop. We find this especially true for crops with low carryover. So, to you, our customers and to your customers, thank you for your patience and loyalty!

Our latest crop inspections indicate that the quality of annual ryegrass fields generally look to be pretty good with less manna grass than last year. We may see a bit extra dirt (thanks to the mice), and higher cleanouts due to prematurely dried seeds. Perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and orchardgrass quality may be affected by the common enemies of quality - poa Annua and poa Trivialis - Ugh! Not much more to report at this point.

Cover Crop Trial Videos Available

Over the past couple of months, we were able to obtain video footage of cover crop trials in Ohio and South Carolina. These are now available for you to watch at https://www.smithseed.com/cover-crop-videos.

Two videos are from The Ohio State University’s South Charleston, OH location. They cover a walk-through in April and then in May. Watched together, these show a couple of key observations: First of all, even by mid-April, some cover crop species are still just waking up, and unless the full month of April and at least part of May are available for them to stay in the ground, their contribution may not be fully reached. Second, there are marked differences in weed control, with the radish being a powerful ally in weed suppression, especially when early planting is also vital.

The third video is taken at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. This was taken in early April. Watched in tandem with the Ohio videos, one can clearly appreciate that location makes a difference. South Carolina soils are warmer later in the year and warm up earlier in the year. Winters are shorter and less harsh. Winter-active varieties and species thrive.

Finally, these videos showcase some of our latest releases. Learn more about each by clicking on the respective icons below.