Kentucky bluegrass seed grown in Central Oregon is used for the turf of home lawns and in landscape areas throughout the temperate regions of the United States and around the world. It is popular because it is an adaptable, long-living perennial that forms a medium textured, dark green turf with good leaf density. It is often blended with other varieties like perennial ryegrass or fine fescue. Kentucky bluegrass is also included in pasture mixes, particularly in the eastern United States. However, its low midseason forage yield, aggressiveness in mixtures, and high nitrogen requirements limit its use as a forage grass.
The dry, warm summers of Central Oregon provide excellent conditions for grass seed harvest which begins the first part of July. The grass is first swathed into windrows and laid to dry in the windrows from 7-10 days. Once the windrows have reached the correct moisture content they are ran through a combine which thrashes the seed from the stalks. Generally farmers will bale the leftover stalks and sell as grass hay. The combined seed is then taken by truckloads to the local seed contractor for additional cleaning. Kentucky bluegrass has a cotton/lint on the seeds that has to be removed during the cleaning process.
Over 3600 acres of Kentucky bluegrass was planted and harvested in 2012, averaging 1,250 pounds an acre, grossing $4,365,250.
- Kentucky Bluegrass Seed Production in Central Oregon, EM 8807, September 2002
- Insects and Ergot in Kentucky Bluegrass Seed Production Fields in the Pacific Northwest, SR 1044, September 2002
- Kentucky Bluegrass Establishment Year, Central Oregon Region, EM 8810, September 2002
- Kentucky Bluegrass Production Years, Central Oregon Region, EM 8811, September 2002