September 2018

September 2018

Harvest and Crop Review

As most of you know, it has been an intense past couple of months as the industry tries to get seed out of the fields out west and into stores, lawns and production lands throughout the rest of the country, and really the world. Trucking has been taxed and maxed. Cleaners pressed; warehouse crews pushed. And many customers have been told by you, that yes, their seed is on the way, but no, its not here yet. So lets look briefly about what we know about select harvest and markets:

Annual ryegrass

Thanks to early booking and a market that came to an agreeable price early, markets have been strong, but stable. Early harvest and laborious cleaning have kept ryegrass shipments moving as fast as trucks became available. At this point, supplies for the rest of the crop year (fall-spring) seem to be adequate, but not abundant. Those needing specific proprietaries, as well as Gulf (rather than VNS) should review their winter and spring needs in advance.

Tall fescue

Oregon has again found itself a key supplier of KY-31 tall fescue, as the Midwest crop simply doesn’t meet demand. This has resulted in a steady price increase with limited prompt seed availability. Unless Missouri produces a bumper crop next year, it is hard to see anything changing in the next twelve months. This has also affected Fawn, other forage tall fescues, and turf-type tall fescue prices. While yields have been close to normal throughout the tall fescues, demand plus near-zero carryover on turf-type tall fescue has keep pricing high. Supplies for the balance of the crop year (fall-spring) are in question. Those who have specific varieties in their program should review their spring needs early.

Fine Fescues

Canadian creeping red fescue production is down significantly. Proprietary production in the US is limited. Availability on specific varieties will likely be very tight. Review of winter and spring needs is advised.

Perennial Ryegrass

Supplies appear to be sufficient for demand. With perennial ryegrass now being the lowest priced perennial grass, usage is expected to increase, particularly in northern turf formulations.


Demand has been very manageable, likely due to some spring ‘18 carryover in key markets. With average yields, supplies seem to be sufficient for expected usage.

Crimson clover

Great year for crimson. Good supply, good price, excellent movement. Availability remains good.

White clover

Yield were down for ladino and Dutch white, demand has been good. Market is a bit tight.

Hairy Vetch

Good supply, good movement. Limited availability on proprietaries like our AU Merit and WinterKing.


Carryover winter pea supplies seemed to disappear faster than expected, creating a short-term pinch in supplies until new crop harvest. This also bumped the market price up, at least for the short-term.

New Varieties Available

We have just completed the harvesting and cleaning of two new exciting cover crop varieties - WyoWinter winter pea and WinterKing Hairy vetch.

  • WyoWinter winter pea is a selection out of Austrian winter peas specifically for improved winter hardiness.
  • WinterKing hairy vetch - Bred for improved winter hardiness and later maturity. Both are available raw, coated , or OMRI coated.

There is limited supply of each still available for purchase and testing this fall. We have also placed them in numerous trials throughout the country.

Read more about each below and look for more information at SmithSeed.com in the near future.

WinterKing hairy vetch plants