A new nutrient management guide for tall fescue seed crops has been published by OSU’s seed production research and extension team. The 42-page publication (EM 9099) is a product of many years of field work in tall fescue seed crops by the members of the research and extension team.
The nutrient management guide covers the impacts of application of nutrients on seed yield, seed yield components, crop growth and development, plant growth regulator use, pests, and others. Extensive use of tables, figures, and appendices supplement this comprehensive guide to tall fescue seed crop nutrient management.
The publication can be accessed at the link below:
Our work on grass seed crop residue management suggests that the answer to this question depends on the grass crop species. On-farm trials over 60 site-years and in 6 seed crops species across Oregon were used to compare baling straw with and without flailing of the crop stubble. In several of our grass seed crops including perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, orchardgrass and Chewings fescue, the differences in seed yield for baling and post-bale flail chopping of a field were negligible and were not statistically significant. Thus, there was no requirement for flailing of these crops after baling of the straw in order to harvest good seed yields.
Grass seed harvest continues to progress here in the Willamette Valley and thoughts will soon turn to residue management.
Smoke plume from open-field burning in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the 1990s. (T.G. Chastain photo)
I’m reminded each year at this time of the challenges of grass seed crop residue management in the 1990s and the transition from a burning-based system to one that involves management of the straw and stubble by using non-thermal techniques. This topic was addressed in a 1998 Oregon’s Agricultural Progress article linked below:
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.
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