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TECHNICAL European Amenity Seed Supply


You should be aware that the seed in the bag may not always be the original catalogue specification, or the quality you normally expect


contributing 20% into the pot, with the USA and France making up 10% each of the total yields. New Zealand is another, largely responsible for Bentgrass production, contributing a further 5% of the total market while other regions, including the UK, make up the remainder of supply. While sowings around the world were affected by the adverse weather experienced last year, we are now better positioned to ride the storm by securing a larger proportion of the available production acreage. The Bentgrass market in New Zealand was one of those hardest hit. A combination of the adverse weather conditions and an increase in demand within the local market saw less seed available for export, making prices rise globally. This year, yield forecasts are for some crops to be up to 50% down on average, meaning Agrostis capillaris will remain in relatively short supply. While this is unlikely to cause any further hikes in the price of Bentgrasses, it does mean that


prices are unlikely to come down. However, the really good news (and written with fingers crossed!) is that 2019 so far has provided almost perfect growing conditions since early February. We had a fair winter into a mild spring, with rain at the right times meaning that crops are universally looking better for this year’s harvest. As demonstrated though, it really is a fine balance and it only takes one factor to change everything - another drought and there could be real problems.


In summary, the seed market as it stands is tight and is likely to remain this way until at least the spring of 2021. If the weather continues to play ball this year, a good harvest should restore us to some kind of equilibrium. It’s important to remember, in the short-term, that despite the rather daunting statistics, there will always be seed available, it may just not be your first choice cultivar or quality. If you require particular mixtures, cultivars or quality parameters, bear in mind that they may be harder to source, so it is now more important than ever to plan ahead.


134 PC August/September 2019





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