Crop and Market UpdatesJuly 2021
By this time, most of you have heard a lot of bad news about this year’s crop. In this report, we will give you an update as to what we know on selected crops. It is not all bad news. In fact, there are some crops that are in quite good shape.
We have much to be thankful here. This is a larger crop worldwide grown predominately in the Willamette Valley. This year’s crop looks to be coming in just slightly below average yields. Farmers are cleaning and shipping against both contracted acres and new sales (subject to their price acceptance.) Seed seems to be light and fluffy, but generally of good quality. We anticipate higher usage this year due to the need to fill in for other crops, but anticipate sufficient supplies, at least for fall.
Both forage and turf PRG are usually taken later than the other grass crops. This year’s steady, hot weather sped harvest up, and some of this seed is already combined. That said, little has been cleaned. Dirt weights, however, indicate yields are not looking good either. But again, little has been cleaned and tested. We don’t know anything yet about quality or germination or total crop supply. More info should be available next month.
Both forage type (Fawn, KY-31, Cajun II), and turf-type really took a hit. This crop does not look good at all. Once the final numbers are in, we expect overall yield reduction to be between 30% at best and over 50% at worst. Individual growers report yield losses on adjacent fields ranging from 25-75%. Many dirt weights reported are less than 50% of last year’s clean weight. Our Oregon production is a critical part of the worldwide supply, and it is difficult to see how this won’t result in an overall consumption shortage. Furthermore, some of these production acres may not be in good enough shape to stay in the ground for harvest 2022.
Orchardgrass seems to have taken a yield hit as well. With limited data from growers, we estimate yield reductions similar to tall fescue. Many of these growers clean at a slower pace, and limited data at this point
Most all of this production is grown outside of the Willamette Valley in other parts of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Some of the production is grown under irrigation, but much is referred to as “dryland” production. This year’s crop is a mixed bag, mostly connected with water supply. Dryland production has suffered severely, with report of some acres not being worth harvesting. Production under irrigation is split between those farmers who have been allowed to irrigate without water restrictions and those who have been subject to restrictions. We should know much more by next month, but expect limited supplies on numerous varieties.
As a spring planted crop, radish was in trouble from the day it was planted this year. While there will be a few good pockets, yields are generally expect to be quite poor.
A few fields have been cut. So far, growers are cautiously optimistic.
While this crop has not yet been cut, non-irrigated production does not look good.
Much of Western Canada has experienced similar weather to the Pacific Northwest. The creeping red fescue crop reports are very concerning. Oregon production will likely be a mixed bag based on irrigated/non-irrigated production.
Too early to tell, but growers expect lower than average yields.
Industry veterans are saying they have never seen a time like this. Prices are simply unstable. Availability can be likened to generator and plywood supplies before a forecasted hurricane, or bread and milk before a predicted blizzard. Availability seems to be more important than price. For now, it is what it is. That said, we anticipate a day when we will return again to price being important and some “like new, never used” generators on the market.
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