There’s no question that the flowering of grasses began earlier this spring season in the Willamette Valley as a result of warm weather conditions and that has led to earlier shedding of pollen in the area’s grass seed fields. However, there is no evidence at this time to indicate that grass pollen and associated problems for allergy sufferers will be headed to a later ending as the article suggests. In fact, the dryness of the season and warm temperatures strongly support the notion that the grass pollen season will conclude sooner rather than later this year as the crops are already starting to be harvested now.
The present evidence based on the flowering progress of grass seed crops and conditions in the seed fields suggests an early end to the pollen season, not a later end.
Grass seed harvest has begun here in the Willamette Valley. In order to maximize harvest efficiency and seed yield, using the appropriate timing for harvest is essential. Seed moisture content has been found to be the most reliable indicator of seed maturity and harvest timing in grass seed crops.
Since pollination and seed maturation are not uniform processes in grass seed crops, a range of seed maturity can be found in a single field. Harvesting within the correct range of seed moisture contents will maximize seed yield and minimize losses of seed during harvest. Seed moisture content is also an important factor in the storage of harvested seed. High seed moisture content reduces longevity of seed in storage and reduces seed quality. Continue reading →
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.
For more information
Thomas G. Chastain, Ph.D.
Department of Crop and Soil Science
351C Crop Science Building
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon 97331-3002