GCM’s 2024 seed update

The state of the turfgrass industry looks good…so far.


Perennial ryegrass seed
Perennial ryegrass seed. Photo courtesy of Leah Brilman

The turfgrass seed industry is grappling with unpredictable weather as well as uncertainties in the supply chain as the 2023 seed harvest is still being distributed and the 2024 crop is months away from harvest. How will things shape up for consumers later this year? 

Jake Metzger, accounts manager for Landmark Seed Company, said the seed industry seems to be well supplied from the 2023 crop.

“The industry is still seeing the effects of a historically large 2022 crop,” Metzger says. “The large crop year of 2022 and the average year of 2023, coupled with industry usage going back down to pre-Covid era numbers and high interest rates, has slowed the movement of seed.”

Metzger added that this spring, Landmark has seen strong seed consumption. “However, the uncertainty of the American and global economy still lingers,” he said, “and customers have been cautious with purchasing, only buying what they have an immediate need for.”

At LebanonTurf, Jeremy Bigler, senior brand manager, says superintendents should be in good shape this spring.“Overall, I would say that there is a good amount of inventory coming into this season, and there shouldn’t be any issues getting grass seed — with one exception: velvet bentgrass,” Bigler says. “The crop last year was close to average from a volume standpoint, but the amount of very clean lots is a bit smaller than usual.”

Jodi Crosby, general manager at Tee-2-Green, says the company had above-average yields of superior-quality seed in 2023. “With no winter damage, adequate water and increased production acres for 2024, we plan to have a year-round supply of seed to meet the industry’s demands,” Crosby says.

As always, weather conditions play a major role. Leah Brilman, Ph.D., director of product management and technical services at DLF USA (Seed Research of Oregon), says most species currently have adequate supply.

“Some may be slightly over supplied, but fields were removed last year,” Brilman says. “Last year’s crop was influenced by dry conditions in fall 2022 and then by a rapid fall in temperatures when the rains did come in November, so some fields/species had poor conditions in spring 2023. Weed control was difficult under these conditions, so seed may be available but some may not be the quality needed.”

Brilman added that some species and/or cultivars were in shorter supply than others. 

“Heat just after pollination influenced the seed development and yield of some fields of bentgrass,” she says. “Creeping bentgrass does not harvest until later than most species, so courses planning new builds or renovations next year should buy their seed as soon as they can this fall. The perennial ryegrass crop in Minnesota had dry conditions last fall and little snow cover over the winter. Damage to the fields is uncertain at this time.”

Brilman noted that while the Willamette Valley has had plenty of rain for the coming crop, “Until it is in the bag, there is always uncertainty, since we could enter drought later this spring,” she said, “and high temperatures during pollination and early development can influence yields.”

“Most seed crops in the Pacific Northwest look strong. Harvest is anticipated to be average to above average yields assuming normal weather patterns now through July. In general fields are closer to maturity than average, but it is rare for the harvest window to fluctuate more than about 10 days year by year,” says Mathis Kuenzi, product development/accounts manager for Mountain View Seeds.

— Darrell J. Pehr, GCM science editor


Copperhead, DLF USA

  • Available now
  • Excellent turf quality for homes, parks and sports fields
  • Rapid establishment
  • Superior drought tolerance
  • Dark green color
  • Medium fine leaf texture
  • Good summer patch resistance
  • NTEP – 2019 Bermudagrass Test

Heritage, Mountain View Seeds

  • Currently available
  • Improved common bermuda; perfect choice for landscaping needs
  • Great turf quality
  • Excellent density
  • Fine leaf texture
  • North Carolina State University trial data, 2016 available upon request

Creeping bentgrass

Diplomacy, LebanonTurf

Spectrum, Landmark Seed Company

  • Available now
  • Top turf quality
  • Superior disease resistance
  • Excellent mowing qualities
  • Very fine leaf texture
  • Improved traffic tolerance
  • Use on tees, greens and fairways
  • NTEP

Tillinghast, DLF USA

Creeping bentgrass blend

Prestige Premium Blend, Tee-2-Green Corp

  • Available now; supplies will not be limited
  • Prestige Premium Blend is a 50/50 mix of Pure Distinction and Pure Select
  • Extreme heat and cold, wear and frost tolerance
  • Great shade and broad spectrum of disease tolerance
  • High salt tolerance
  • High tolerance to Poa annua herbicide
  • Super deep rooting with fast recovery
  • Super spring green-up, late fall color and vigor
  • Striking medium green color
  • Tour-quality putting surface with high-density canopy
  • Ideal for greens, collars and approaches
  • NTEP, Pure Seed testing

Creeping red fescue

Harbor MR, Mountain View Seeds

  • Limited availability fall 2024
  • Mesotrione resistant
  • Excellent summer and fall density
  • Superb spring green-up
  • Leaf spot resistance
  • Fine leaf texture
  • NTEP 2021 Trial; Pinnacle Ag Research Center 2023 Trial. 

Perennial ryegrass

Black Stallion, Mountain View Seeds

  • Available fall 2024
  • Exceptional dark green color
  • Highly rated for turf quality
  • Bred with leaf spot resistance
  • Excellent leaf texture
  • University of California-Riverside Perennial Ryegrass Overseeding Trial 2021 available upon request

Gator Cinco, DLF USA (Seed Research of Oregon)

Mach Two, DLF USA (Seed Research of Oregon)

  • Available fall 2024
  • Superior turf quality — all management and regions
  • Excellent gray leaf spot and brown patch resistance
  • Superior red thread, stem and crown rust resistance
  • Dark green color and early spring green-up
  • Excellent density and low Poa annua invasion
  • Superior traffic and wear tolerance, all locations
  • 2016 Perennial Ryegrass NTEP

Rampage, Landmark Seed Company

  • Limited supply available now
  • Aggressive spreading
  • Great overseed quality
  • Dark green color
  • Low mow ability
  • 2023 NC State Overseed Trials

Tall fescue

Expanse, Landmark Seed Company

  • Available fall 2024
  • Drought tolerant
  • Rapid spring green-up
  • Phenomenal turf quality
  • Brown patch resistant
  • Excellent leaf texture
  • NTEP

Southside, Landmark Seed Company

  • Available fall 2024
  • Top-of-class turf quality
  • Dark green color
  • Withstands heavy traffic
  • Exceptional density
  • Strong lateral growth
  • NTEP

Contributors to the seed update

DLF USA (Seed Research of Oregon)

Contact: Leah Brilman, Ph.D., director, project management and technical services

Sean Chaney, vice president of professional turf
www.sroseed.com, www.dlfpickseed.com/usa

Landmark Seed Company

Contact: Jake Metzger, account manager
P.O. Box 13009, Salem, OR 97309


Contact: Jeremy Bigler, senior brand manager
1600 East Cumberland St.
Lebanon, PA 17042

Mountain View Seeds

Contact: Mathis Kuenzi, product development/accounts manager
8955 Sunnyview Rd. NE, Salem, OR 97305

Tee-2-Green Corp.

Contact: Jodi Crosby, general manager
P.O. Box 250, Hubbard, 
OR 97032