2023 Seed Market Update
This year’s seed update is a little different from the past few. The seed markets are very stable overall, and there are good supplies in the seed companies’ warehouses out West of most species. The seed harvest has begun in Oregon and Washington. We won’t know the exact expectations for the harvest for a few weeks, but initial forecasts look like the pounds of seed harvested will be below average. A wet fall and dry spring have particularly affected the fine fescue, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue crops. Because of these conditions, there are a few concerns about the cleanliness of the incoming seed, but once again, we will not know the extent of this for a few weeks.
Fine fescue was already in short supply, so the price of these products will likely increase until we know the state of the harvest. Tall fescue and perennial ryegrass are in good supply from last year’s crop, and the expectation is that pricing will stay consistent through the fall. The one exception is forage-type tall fescue, such as K-31 and Fawn. Many of these are grown in areas outside the traditional grass production areas, and the harvest is expected to be extremely low. The pricing of these products should be expected to increase into the fall.
The Kentucky bluegrass harvest may be a little below expectation, but as with most other species, supplies are good out West, and pricing should be stable.
As we wait for the new harvest to be cleaned, it must be pointed out that newly harvested seed is not typically the best option for use in the fall. The recently harvested seed can have primary dormancy, meaning it must go through a cooling cycle or continue to dry down to maximize its germination potential. Seed samples are often placed in refrigeration before germination testing to ensure the highest possible germination percentage is achieved to put on the seed tag. If possible, it is usually to your benefit to buy seed from a previous year’s harvest to ensure it will perform at the highest possible level in the field.
Advanced Turf Solutions has a great supply of seed in its warehouses for your fall needs. Contact your sales representative to learn more.
Advanced Turf Seed Product Manager