Introduction and Survey of Pacific Northwest Seed Crops. Thomas G Chastain CSS 460/560 Seed Production

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1 Introduction and Survey of Pacific Northwest Seed Crops Thomas G Chastain CSS 460/560 Seed Production

2 Seed Production: A Specialized Form of Crop Production Seed Production is the activity, science, and technology that increases the availability of high quality seed at the lowest environmental and economic cost.

3 Seed Production: A Genetic Delivery System Seeds are the primary genetic delivery system for conveying favorable traits from the breeder to the consumer. Why seeds? Seeds are: 1. Small and hardy 2. Convenient to store and transport 3. A repository for heritable traits Seed of various crops: tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, (top row, left to right), corn and soybean (bottom row, left to right).

4 Development of a Specialized Seed Industry Prior to the development of the seed industry, farmers set aside a portion of their crop for the purpose of planting. By the late 1700s, the first companies were started to supply the growing demand for vegetable and flower seed. As transportation systems improved, more farmers and companies became involved in the specialized field of seed production and the first major seed production industry was born in the late 1800s. The world s largest seed industry began in the 1930s to produce hybrid seed corn and is centered in the Midwest. Historical wheat harvest and early onion seed field

5 Development of a Specialized Seed Industry Grass and legume forage seed crops were originally produced as a byproduct of forage production. But by the 1930s, farmers began planting forages solely for seed production and turf grasses followed shortly thereafter. The Pacific Northwest seed industry developed in large part because of the favorable climate and the evolution of specialized management practices to take advantage of this climate. This evolution resulted from the cooperative efforts of seed growers, industry suppliers, universities, and the USDA. Historical forage harvest (top) Willamette Valley tall fescue seed field 1949 (bottom W Gifford photo, OSU Archives)

6 Development of a Specialized Seed Industry Seed industries associated with self-pollinated crops such as wheat tend to be small regardless of the number of acres grown. Forage and turf grass seed production has shifted from the Midwest USA to the Pacific Northwest. Since these seed crops are being produced outside of their area of principal adaptation or use, special procedures must be followed to prevent genetic shift. Willamette Valley grass seed harvest (top), ryegrass seed field in Willamette Valley (bottom)

7 Reasons for a Pacific Northwest Seed Industry Dry summers Mild and wet winters Great variety of soils over short distances High seed quality High dependable yields Kentucky bluegrass seed field, Rathdrum Prairie Idaho

8 Value of US Seed Crops and Selected Other Commodities Commodity Seed crop Value of production ($ billions) Corn 21.2 Soybean 14.8 Planting seed 8.2 Corn 2.2 Turf and forage 1.6 Oilseeds 1.5 Vegetables and melons 0.7 Wheat 5.9 Cotton 3.6

9 Oregon Seed Crops Seed Crop Oregon s Rank in US Annual and Perennial Ryegrass 1 Tall Fescue 1 Orchardgrass 1 Sugarbeet 1 Red clover 1 Crimson clover 1 Kentucky bluegrass 3 Alfalfa 8 Crimson clover field and seed

10 Value of Production ($ millions) Value of Oregon Seed Crops and Selected Other Commodities Nursery Crops Cattle Dairy Products Grass Seed Farm Forest Products Legume Seed Vegetable and Flower Seed Wheat

11 Oregon Seed Production Acreage Grass Forage Legume Sugarbeet Vegetable and Flower

12 Corvallis Albany Willamette Valley Crops Urban Grass Seed Winter Wheat Spring Wheat Barley Corn Beans Peas Potatoes Sugar Beets for Seed Alfalfa/Clover Vegetables/Fruit Grapes Christmas Trees Grass (non-agricultural) Wetlands Shrubland Eugene Woodland Water

13 Grass Seed Production in the Willamette Valley Tall fescue Map Source: George Mueller-Warrant, USDA-ARS

14 Oregon Grass Seed Crop Acreage and Value* Crop Acreage Farm Gate Value ($ millions) Annual Ryegrass 122, Perennial Ryegrass 93, Tall Fescue 106, Kentucky Bluegrass 10, Rough Bluegrass 2,200 3 Orchardgrass 15,100 8 Chewings Fescue 7,080 6 Red Fescue 8,460 7 Hard Fescue 2,535 2 Colonial Bentgrass 2,250 2 Creeping Bentgrass 2,050 5 Total 373, *2011 Crop Year

15 One dot = 300 acres US Ryegrass Seed Acreage Willamette Valley An agricultural system with a climate unmatched anywhere in the world for seed production: Grasses Forage legumes Sugar beet Vegetables Flowers

16 Survey of Pacific Northwest Seed Crops

17 Grass Orchardgrass Kentucky bluegrass seed field in Idaho Perennial ryegrass flower

18 Forage Legumes Alfalfa flower and seed Red clover

19 Sugarbeet Sugarbeet seed field Sugarbeet

20 Oilseeds Sunflower (left), yellow mustard crop in flower (lower left), yellow mustard seed (below). Winter canola crop in flower near Corvallis (above), and seed (left).

21 Flowers Columbine California Poppy and Shasta daisy seed fields near Silverton (top), California poppy seed (bottom), Shasta daisy seed (right)

22 Vegetables Hybrid onion in central Oregon, near Madras (top), pumpkin in the Willamette Valley (right).

Introduction and Survey of Pacific Northwest Seed Crops. Thomas G Chastain CROP 460/560 Seed Production

Introduction and Survey of Pacific Northwest Seed Crops. Thomas G Chastain CROP 460/560 Seed Production Introduction and Survey of Pacific Northwest Seed Crops Thomas G Chastain CROP 460/560 Seed Production Seed Production: A Specialized Form of Crop Production Seed Production is the activity, science, and

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