Why is lodging important in grass seed crops? Under certain conditions, the tiller cannot support the weight of the developing inflorescence and seed. The tiller lodges or falls to the ground, especially when there are high levels of nitrogen fertilizer and soil moisture present (Fig. 1). Both conditions are common in Oregon’s commercial grass seed production fields in the spring.
OSU is presenting several seed production field day offerings this spring where the public can visit research farms and learn more about a variety of seed crops.
May 16 – Native Plant Seed Production Field Day – Native forage legumes, native plant irrigation for seed production, pollination and pollinators, native plant for anti-cancer pharmaceuticals, and more. Located at OSU’s Malheur Experiment Station, 595 Onion Ave, Ontario OR 97914. Phone (541) 889-2174
May 30 – Hyslop Farm Field Day – Plant growth regulators in red clover seed crops, energy use and efficiency in tall fescue and perennial ryegrass seed crops, flax, and more. Located at Hyslop Crop Science Field Research Laboratory just off Highway 20 between Corvallis and Albany at 3455 NE Granger Corvallis, OR 97330. Phone (541) 737-9940.
May 31 – Grass Seed Field Day – Various topics focused on grass seed production practices and pests. Located at OSU’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 2121 S. First Street, Hermiston, OR 97838. Phone (541) 567-6337.
One question that is on the minds of seed producers is how much has the cold weather set crops back? Over the 123 years of weather records at Corvallis, there has been only 15 times that the month of March has been colder than we experienced in March 2012. Cold spring weather has been a phenomenon that’s been observed here in the Willamette Valley over the past few years (Fig.1). This cold weather was accompanied by near record wet conditions (Fig. 2).
Here’s a new article on camelina that my group has published in Field Crops Research. Camelina is a Brassica family oil seed crop that has demonstrated some potential in the Pacific Northwest. Click on the citation below to go to the article:
Several forage legume seed crops continue to be a vital part of seed production enterprises in the Willamette Valley. These include red clover, crimson clover, and white clover. Other seed crops that have been produced in the valley include ladino clover, arrowleaf clover, subterranean clover, hairy vetch, and common vetch.
Growing a grass seed crop is all about making the best possible solar energy harvesting system at the lowest cost. However, the direct and indirect costs of energy in the forms of fuel and fertilizer can make achieving this goal a challenge for grass seed producers.