The seed harvest for 2022 is in full swing. Kentucky bluegrass harvest has begun, and other species will quickly follow. The wet spring out West has caused the harvest of tall fescue and perennial ryegrass to be delayed by a few weeks. This means seed will move from Oregon to the rest of the country a few weeks later than normal. The seed fields look good for the most part, and we are expecting a good crop this year. We are not expecting any large price changes going into fall. With last year’s harvest being poor, we find ourselves in a position where there is once again very little to no carryover of last year’s harvest. That means that everyone is waiting for this year’s seed to be harvested. This will potentially cause some backups and delays. If you intend to seed in August or early September, you should be securing your seed now from existing inventories. Putting yourself in a situation where you are waiting for seed that will be harvested this year is a recipe for disappointment. The seed can only be cleaned and bagged so fast. There will also likely be a backup waiting on enough trucks to move all the seed needed.

This is probably a good chance to point out that newly harvested seed is not the best performer out in the field. Newly harvested seed can often have primary dormancy. The seed needs to go through a chilling process or a drying process to get to the highest level of germination. By rushing seed from the field to the bag, the percentage of germination is not as high as it will be after eight weeks of dry time. Many times, purchasers think that “new” seed is the best when in fact, customers should be looking for year-old seed, when possible, to ensure the best opportunity for success.

With the continued high price of seed going into this fall, it is a good opportunity to use coated grass seed. Our XCD-coated seeds provide better germination and quicker establishment while reducing the total volume of water needed to establish turf. The coated product ends up being considerably less expensive and labor intensive.

To recap: Harvest will be late. There will likely be a backup getting seed out of Oregon. We are not expecting any large price changes for fall. It is in your best interest to get the seed you need for this year as early as possible to ensure you have what you need.