Golf Course Management

MAY 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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The 2013 seed update finds the seed industry in much the same condition as in 2012. Several new ryegrasses have been released — lots of perennial ryegrasses, two intermediate ryegrasses and two annual ryegrasses — along with some tall fescues, but little else. Creeping bentgrass, bermudagrass and Kentucky bluegrass have been rarities in the past two years. As of press time, not much seed is available. Leah Brilman, Ph.D., director of research at Seed Research of Oregon, says the weather is partly to blame. Last year, Oregon was very wet until July when the drought kicked in. Yields for bentgrasses are 40 to 50 percent of historic numbers, and poor conditions in the fall and winter predict a less than bountiful perennial ryegrass crop in 2013. Brilman says there is no good news for superintendents buying Oregon seed in 2013. "There's not much seed available in general. They (farmers) didn't have a great crop, especially creeping bentgrass. I don't think there's any species that anyone has a lot of. There are shortages now, and the new crop will not be huge. Seed is more expensive, and prices will continue to rise." Glenn Jacklin, director of operations/production at Jacklin Seed by Simplot in Post Falls, Idaho, echoes Brilman's statements and cautions that "last fall's drought is causing ripple effects that will be felt into 2014." Brilman and Jacklin also agree that it is difficult to get farmers to grow seed because cash crops such as wheat, corn, canola, hay and beans are all demanding high prices and will be more profitable than a grass seed crop, which is more difficult and costly to grow.

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