Seed Harvest Update from the Pacific Northwest

Much of the US forage seed production acreage is in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Therefore this recent report from DLF, a major international seed company,  provides important information for those us that are buying grass and legume seed.

The US forage seed harvest in 2022 was highly variable. It ended a bit below expectations, but still a very welcome recovery from the dismal 2021. A dry winter was followed by an extended wet spring that raised many expectations of high yields across the Pacific Northwest seed production regions. In the end, however, most yields were not much different than long-term averages.

Tall fescue: Of the major crops, tall fescue was the most disappointing. Poor yields are mostly thought to be the fault of cool, wet conditions that caused a very long pollination window. A long flowering period means a long ripening period resulting in no real “right-time” to harvest. Planting this fall was difficult, especially non-irrigated acres. Of concern to all is the lack of recovery and fall growth which will likely limit seed production next year.

Orchardgrass: Yields were well below normal. Orchardgrass is the first of our seed crops to ripen and the extended, late spring caused poor seed-set. Orchardgrass acres continue to decline.

Red clover: Not a lot of this crop has been cleaned yet, but yields seem to be average to just above. New fields have yet to germinate and will struggle to establish which may affect production in coming years. 

~ Read the full report here.