A perfect harvest 2019 brings an improved availability

After three poor years, the 2019 seed crop balances supply and demand for the coming season. But there is variability between species and pressure on the most popular varieties. Our advice is to order now if you want to be sure of securing the best varieties.


Good yield for grasses and clovers in Denmark – average in the Netherlands

A good year for seed growers coincided with a difficult year for owners of turf and forage. Across Europe, the hot, dry summer of 2019 created damage from drought, mice and insects. The demand for mixtures in forages and amenity as well, was significant higher than in a “normal” year and brought the stocks down at all levels of the distribution-chain in the past “fifth quarter” - July to September. The good harvest of 2019 hopefully help to cover the expected continuing high demand for seed for the spring season of 2020.

Prices expected to remain firm with variations between species

Early deliveries out of existing contracts combined with current sales prove that the market is under supplied. To avoid gaps in the supply chain, all processes – cleaning, certification, mixture-production and logistics – are up and running at full speed. The experience from last year has raised awareness in all teams of what needs to be done to keep seed moving.

Seed imports from North America remain low; stocks from New Zealand will arrive late from the southern 2020 crop.

TURF: Growing demand for DLF mixtures and concepts

Almost all turf species were sold from the 2018 crop. The new harvest has improved the yield and supply of perennial ryegrasses, but red fescues are still under-performing. Our advice is to optimise your mixtures according to availability.

Prices for tall fescues are firm, but overseas imports (which attract import taxes) are even more expensive.

The harvest for smooth-stalked meadow grass was good, but the availability of certified seed will be late.

The demand for 4turf® mixtures containing DLF's high-performing tetraploid turf perennials is growing fast.

And the updated ProNitro® solution with, DLF's new hydroactive
water-management technology, represents a step-change in
coating technology. It produces stronger and faster germination
and establishment.

The 4salt® concept with more salt-tolerant species and varieties will prove particularly useful in certain areas.

To find out more about these technological advances, speak to your DLF representative.

FORAGE: Improved digestibility and feed intake are cutting production costs

Strong demand for our most popular forage mixtures continues to hold prices for all perennial ryegrasses. We're also seeing plenty of demand for new varieties with improved rust-tolerance as well as high dry matter yield.

A reduced supply of European-produced meadow fescues and a bad Canadian harvest for timothy are firming up prices for both species, especially for recommended varieties.

Although the harvest for smooth-stalked meadow grass was generally good, a shortage of recommended varieties has led to firmer prices.

Italian ryegrass and annual ryegrass are popular this year, but a weak European harvest has reduced the supply of recommended varieties. Prices remain firm due to supply situation.

Supply and demand of recommended white clover varieties is in balance, however the harvest of red clover is disappointing.

DLF's festuloliums, Ryegrass PLUS and Tall fescue PLUS, are an effective genetic route for robust grassland production with improved sustainability. Both production and demand have increased, so prices remain stable.

Despite a below-average harvest, cocksfoot will be generally available. But recommended varieties could run short.

DLF Fiber Energy varieties provide herds with higher levels of digestible fibre for more efficient milk and meat production. Ask your DLF representative about the best varieties for your region.

OUTLOOK: Order now to get the varieties you need

Overall, it looks like that demand for forage and turf seed for the coming season will be covered. We are, however, facing shortages in some species and especially in recommended varieties. If you're likely to need extra quantities in particular varieties, don't delay. The sooner you place your order, the better.

Your local DLF sales manager will be happy to help with market insights. Or you can catch us at the DLF trading tables (1, 2, and 3) at the Euroseeds Congress in Stockholm from 12th to 15th October. We'd be delighted to give you a much fuller market update and show you some of the newest concepts and innovations from DLF. We look forward to seeing you in Stockholm.