Seed Shortage?

August 24, 2021 | By: Randy Tischer

seed in front of warehouse

Have you heard rumblings of a seed shortage? Or are you wondering what is going on with the current rise in seed prices?

We talked to our friends at The Oregon Seed Association to provide you with a better understanding of this multi-faceted topic. 

Prices have been on the rise recently due to several factors. The top 3 of which are:

  1. Seed Yields among grass seed growers have diminished due to “historical spring drought in most of the major growing regions, combined with extraordinary heat, has resulted in sizable reductions in seed yields across all major species”. Many fields have seen seed yield reductions as high as 50%. The drastically reduced harvest will most certainly impact the market for the next 12 months and potentially longer. Though it may seem obvious, it is worth remembering grass seed can not be manufactured in a factory. The crop we got this summer has to last us until next year. Fingers crossed, we get a good yield next year, or this could lead to continued volatility in the grass seed market. 
  2. Acres of what used to be grass seed fields are disappearing each year due to influxes of more profitable crops for the farmers to grow, such as hazelnuts & blueberries. The majority of U.S. seed is currently grown in Oregon & Washington, but with the changing crop landscape, it’s possible grass seed production will shift to other states. However, this current increase in pricing will likely make growing grass seed a more lucrative opportunity to farmers in the near future, increasing future grass seed supply.
  3. Carry-Over Effect – grass seed sales have been at an all-time high for the past year & a half as more people than ever have worked on improving their homes, as well as an increased interest in outdoor activities such as golf. All of which has led to less seed than ever being carried over to sell into the following year.

Throughout the past year, supply chains have been affected in every industry. This is made especially evident in the current freight issue across the country. Freight prices have been increasing, and even though it is not directly involved with the actual seed, freight is a significant component of increased pricing.

We appreciate your patience & look forward to providing you with the seed you need to get the turf of your dreams.

To get current, accurate pricing on seed, please call or stop by any of our Green Velvet branches.