Current Kentucky Bluegrass Shortages Part Of A Long-Developing Trend
Posted in General by Curtis Williams
European settlers are generally thought to have brought Kentucky Bluegrass seed with them when they established their homesteads in central and northern Kentucky in the 17th and 18th centuries. Kentucky Bluegrass grows well as a pasture grass on the limestone soils of the region. As the population of the U.S. migrated west, so did this amazing lawn species.
Who could have foreseen the impact this grass seed crop would have on the development of the turfgrass industry the last 50 years? But as is the case with many things, Bluegrass ceased being the most important component in turfgrass mixtures several years ago.
This leads us to today’s shortages. Bluegrass became very expensive to produce, especially when field burning ended. The entire production of Kentucky Bluegrass seed in the Pacific Northwest was over 100 million pounds annually, and in recent days, has dropped to barely 30 million. Throw in a couple of weather vagaries, the advent of more profitable crops, and you suddenly have $2.00/lb. Bluegrass. The times they are a changin’.