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The Forage Seed Grower Workshop was held on December 5, 2013 in Nipawin, SK with presentations by:

Nicole Anderson, Oregon State University, provided an overview of the large forage seed industry in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Production of many crops including white clover, annual ryegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, red clover and others occurs where they receive 50-80 inches of rainfall and experience only a couple of frosts each year. Yields range from 1,500-2,500 lb/ac of tall fescue and red clover of 800-900 lb/ac. Oregon banned field burning in 2009 and this has led to the increased use of fertilizer to compensate for the removal of nutrients with the straw, as well as more herbicides and intensive tillage to deal with weeds and slugs. Researchers in Oregon are currently looking at soil fertility, plant growth regulators in red clover, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue, as well as disease and insect control. Nicole Anderson’s travel expenses were covered by funding provided through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial-initiative.

Nils Yannikos, University of Saskatchewan, provided an excellent preliminary report on their project on Enhancing Nitrogen Use Efficiency in forage grass seed crops. Using nitrification and volatilization inhibitors, they are looking to improve established grass seed yields using nitrogen fertilizer while reducing emissions. The results are promising.

Stu Brandt, Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation, reviewed the 2013 forage seed weed control and copper fertility projects funded by SFSDC. He described the 10 crops being tested and the initial herbicide tolerance and weed control results. Stu also outlined the preliminary results of the copper fertilizer strip trials where a yield response was noted in established timothy and bromegrass crops.

Dr. Bruce Coulman, University of Saskatchewan, brought us up to date on the hiring of the new forage crop Plant Breeder at the University. Their goal is to have the person in place by May 1, 2014.

David Wong, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, joined the meeting by webcast to speak on the forage seed market. David gave an excellent review of the major forage seed crop prices, inventories, exports and outlook. His conclusions noted, “Low inventories + Lack of acres = Very good price projections in the very near future. But remember, grow a quality product... in the grass and legume seed business, Quality always Sells.”

Workshop 2013

Posted January 21, 2014