Let the Pollen Fly: What to Expect for the Upcoming Grass Seed Harvest

At Central, we’re committed to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news in the industry. Each year, the status of the grass seed harvest has many shifts and turns. That’s why Austin Lanzarone, Central’s Category Director of Seed, is dedicated to sharing up-to-the minute reporting on this year’s seed harvest.

From Austin:
June 29, 2022

It’s finally that time of the year when the cool, moist Oregon air disappears and mother nature turns on the heat with dry conditions in the grass seed capital of the world.

Our last update left us with low expectations for a timely crop this season. Unfortunately, those expectations haven’t changed however, pollen is beginning to swirl around in select fields here and there in the Willamette Valley.

When Will Harvest Begin?

Photo credit: Redtop Farms

Harvest is still expected to fully begin 2-to-3 weeks later than normal with many farmers contemplating on when exactly will be the proper time to begin cutting to maximize yields on their properties. Too soon and the crop will not be 100 percent viable; too late and the seeds will shatter and fall to the ground. One would suspect there will be a much larger gathering at the local coffee roaster and breakfast spot this season as communication between growers will become crucial on when to pull the trigger for cutting.

This photo shows an example of different stages of seed development on a plant. The top of the plant is ready for cutting however the bottom still is underdeveloped. Once the plant fully matures the top area of the seeds will be overly mature and shatter upon cutting.

Seed Yields & Pricing

Yields are still expected to be mixed but close to average with a tremendous amount of weed pressure present. Rainfall this spring inhibited spot spraying of herbicides which in turn can lower overall yields as seed cleaning facilities tighten the screws during their process to remove the weed content from the crop.

At the end of the day the world has one question. “What will I be paying for grass seed in the fall of 2022 and beyond?” That answer is still unknown but the crystal ball does tell us that fuel, food, fertilizer, and labor are all more expensive today than they were yesterday. Those increased inputs will most definitely be passed on down the line to seed dealers, distribution, and consumers.

The Good News

Crop will be late this season but Central Turf and Irrigation Supply has planned ahead for your needs this fall with grass seed in stock and ready for shipment. Our Pre-Season Seed runs through the end of July—helping you lock in prices, guarantee product, and extend your payment terms. Contact your local Central reps or stop by one of our 50+ locations to learn more.

About Austin

Austin Lanzarone has nearly 20 years of experience in the Green Industry and a degree in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Kentucky. Austin’s career has been heavily focused in the grass seed industry and includes experience with procurement, distribution, key account management, and sales. He is an excellent resource for all things seed and is ready to help you grow.

Feature Image Photo Credit: Redtop Farms