The Tasmanian Pasture Seed Conference was held in November in Launceston, Tasmania. The conference was hosted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, the University of Tasmania, private seed companies and agricultural suppliers and banking interests in Australia.
Several local and international speakers made presentations at the conference and it was attended not only by residents of Tasmania but also by seed producers and company representatives from mainland Australia. Major international seed companies and suppliers were present as well as their local counterparts. The conference began with one day of presentations and discussions regarding the state of the Tasmanian herbage seed industry in comparison with international seed production regions as well as a look at the current state of knowledge in herbage seed production. That was followed up a day later by a well-organized tour of farm fields and production facilities.
Dry conditions are normal for the Willamette Valley in July and August. This is an important period for flowering and seed development in red clover seed crops. While much of the region’s red clover seed crop is not irrigated, would the crop benefit from additional water during this dry period? That is one of the questions that the seed production research and extension team has addressed.
I’ve been fascinated with these bees for many years now and I cover them in my Seed Production course at OSU. Unlike the honey bee, alkali bees are native to the Pacific Northwest. This bee nests in the ground (bee beds) and as a result is not very portable. Nevertheless, alkali bees are efficient in tripping alfalfa flowers and contribute to good seed yields through their impact on pollination of the crop.
Near the bee beds in pollination season, one can observe restrictive speed limits on rural roads to protect this valuable pollinator.
OSU is presenting two seed production field day offerings on the same day where the public can visit research farms and learn more about a variety of seed crops. The field days provide a convenient choice for those located in either the western or eastern parts of the state.
May 28 – Hyslop Farm Field Day – Plant growth regulators and irrigation management in red clover seed crops, establishment and tillage systems in annual ryegrass, nitrogen effects on seed yield in yellow mustard, and more. Starts at 8 AM and ends with lunch provided by the OSU Crops Club.
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) 737-6067. Hyslop Farm location
May 28 – Grass Seed Field Day – Various topics focused on grass seed production practices and pests including ergot, powdery mildew and stripe rust control, ammonia volatilization, and more. Starts at 8:30 AM and ends at noon.
Located at OSU’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 2121 S. First Street, Hermiston, OR 97838. Phone (541) 567-6337.
Bill Young, OSU professor emeritus and extension agronomist in seed production, has recently updated Oregon’s grass and forage legume seed crop production statistics for the 2013 crop year. This report provides a wealth of useful information about quantity of seed produced, crop yields, and economic value of these seed crops in Oregon.
Here is a summary of the findings from Dr. Young:
In brief, the combined value for all grass and legume seed crops in the 2012-13 crop year ($461,693,000) increased 13.6% over the value of production in 2011-12. Oregon growers harvested 415,916 acres of grass seed crops in 2013, an increase of just 7,916 acres (+1.9%) over last year. However, the estimated value of all grass seed species increased by 12.7% due to the improved prices received by grower. Legume seed crop acreage declined slightly (-1.6%) from the 2011-12 crop year, but the $44,067,000 value marked a new high for this industry. Further details are examined in Dr. Young’s “Narrative Discussion” and its accompanying tables.
Here is a link to the report on OSU’s Seed Crops page: