Weather and Weeds Add Uncertainty To 2017 Perennial Ryegrass Seed Availability
Posted in General by Curtis Williams
As you will note on this week’s price list, the market outlook for Perennial Ryegrass seed in the short term is softening with several wild cards remaining that will determine its 2017 direction.
The industry is going into the new crop with a larger carryover than recent years. But the crop is 2 weeks later than normal due to the wet, cold winter. Second-year and third-year production fields are showing promise for good seed yields. However, because of the extended rainy season in the Pacific Northwest, many of the weed control chemicals were not effective, particularly those for Poa Annua control. This means most of the Oregon seed production cleaners will need to work extra hard to achieve Poa-free tests. This will certainly mean lower mechanical quality anticipated in the short term, and lower availability of high quality seed expected longer term due to the time it takes to re-clean seed to remove poa.
Weather has also hampered first-year production of Perennial Ryegrass in Oregon, and in Minnesota and Manitoba, high winter kill loss estimates are in the range of 35-40%, all of which affects future seed supplies.