Golf Course Management

MAY 2018

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

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Page 49 of 93

46 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.18 2018 Seed Grass seed production, like other agricultural enterprises, suffers a cer - tain volatility resulting from the vaga- ries of weather and of the economy in general. The grass seed industry has come back from the serious losses of the Great Recession, when acre - age dropped from 489,600 in 2008 to 375,665 in 2010, and there is some good news for 2018. The U.S. De - partment of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that grass seed acreage in Oregon is up 4 percent overall from 2017, even though acreage of perennial ryegrass is 72,000 acres, a 6 percent drop from 77,000 acres in 2017. This year's rye and fescue grasses got off to a slow start because of an unusually cold winter, but growers say that rye and fescue grasses were doing well in early spring. Slugs, win - ter cutworms, geese and mice have been problem pests again this year, although perhaps not at the same level as they were in 2017. Industry transitions Other changes in the seed industry include a retirement and a new part - nership. Steve Tubbs, who was owner of Turf Merchants Inc. (also known as TMI) for 34 of his 44 years in the grass seed industry, announced his retire - ment in November 2017 and the sale of his stock in the company to TMI's John Cochran. In his farewell letter to the seed industry, Tubbs said that his sale "anticipates the next phase of evolution in our industry, as seed growers become more basic in vari - etal acquisition and production, and seed companies evolve into more of a service orientation requiring less per - sonnel, assets and capital employed." At the end of March, Barenbrug USA and Columbia Seeds announced they are forming a partnership so that Barenbrug will have access to Columbia Seeds' Value Direct Link production and distribution model, and Columbia Seeds can benefit from Barenbrug's research, product devel - opment and marketing. According to the companies, Value Direct Link "facilitates the flow of seed directly from the producer to the mar - ketplace," and both companies will be able to take advantage of Columbia's close relationship with growers and its multichannel distribution system. In return, Columbia will be able to use Barenbrug's Yellow Jacket Enhanced Seed Coating, RPR and RTF for its blends and mixes. The companies will also be able to exchange improved turf varieties and share access to new genetics. For its part, Barenbrug will increase its investments in turfgrass research, product development and brand development. For additional convenience, customers can consoli - date orders when they purchase with both companies. 2018 Seed Update GCM's annual Seed Update is a list of new named turfgrass varieties that have been released since the publica - tion of the previous year's update or will be released by the end of the cur - rent year. This year, information about 25 varieties was submitted to GCM for publication, and 11 of those are peren - nial ryegrasses. All the varieties have been developed by seed companies in the United States. GCM makes every effort to avoid publishing information about varieties that have already been featured in the update. Turfgrass species are listed alpha - betically by the English name, and new varieties are listed alphabetically within a species. When available, ex - perimental numbers are listed in the varietal description. Experimental des - ignations may be used to look up test- ing results for the varieties in research reports, such as those published by the National Turfgrass Evaluation Pro - gram (NTEP). The information about the varieties and the variety photo - graphs and logos are provided by the respective seed companies. Additional information may be available from the companies themselves and the "Re - search Resources" listed on Page 50. — Teresa Carson, GCM science editor

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