Grass seed production

Most of the cool-season grass seed in the United States comes from the Pacific Northwest — in particular, Oregon. Therefore, the state's trends for grass seed production can be a good indication of the U.S. market in general. In March of 2001, Oregon's Extension Economic Information Office released preliminary market estimates for grass seed in 2000. The results showed an increase in acres grown, but a decrease in the value of grass seed crops.

According to Bill Young, Extension agronomist, Oregon State University, grass seed increased 1.8 percent in acres grown from 1999 to 2000. However, the total value of grass seed crops declined 6.5 percent.

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Perennial ryegrass, which has Oregon's largest acreage, declined in acreage by 3.1 percent, according to Young. Other species that declined in acreage included annual ryegrass (-0.5 percent), orchardgrass (-3.8 percent) and colonial bentgrass (-5.8 percent). All other grass seeds increased in acreage: hard fescue (98.5 percent), red fescue (27.2 percent), Kentucky bluegrass (20.4 percent), Chewings fescue (9.5 percent), tall fescue (5.0 percent), rough bluegrass (3.6 percent) and creeping bentgrass (2.7 percent).

Source: Bill Young, “Crop and Soil News/Notes,” Oregon State University Extension Service; OSU Extension Economic Information Office

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