Tall fescue has been making its way north in recent years — and it’s only becoming more popular in the region.
Tall fescue has always been popular. Joel Rey, vice president of Seed Solutions at BrettYoung, said the crop is one of the largest turfgrass species in North America, and thanks to breeding advancements in its turf performance and winter survivability, it’s only increased in popularity.
“One day, it may eventually have a fit in Canda,” said Rey.
Tall fescue is a widely used turfgrass in the Southern US because of its deep tap root and its ability to tolerate heat better than other cool-season grasses. Though it isn’t a widely used turfgrass in Western Canada yet, tall fescue has been grown for seed in the region and has been for over 25 years. Rey said there’s nothing but benefits for more growers hoping to start growing the variety.
What’s unique about tall fescue is it has one main production region in Oregon. Most other grasses are produced across the globe — in Europe, New Zealand, South America — but tall fescue isn’t. And though the production area may be small, the market for tall fescue is huge and ever-growing, making it a great opportunity for growers in Western Canada
The grass crop is mostly used in turf applications (residential and commercial) throughout the US, Europe, and China. Advancements in the variety’s breeding have turned the large plant into a more compact one with a finer leaf and better disease package, making it perfect for turf applications.
Tall fescue is a perennial, meaning one seeding of the field can get you two to three years of production out of it. The grass tolerates wet conditions, hot conditions, and saline conditions, performing exceptionally well under irrigated soils. The crop also has an upright growth pasture that makes it easy to cut come harvest time, which comes sooner than it does for most other cool-season grasses.
If you’re interested in growing tall fescue for BrettYoung Seed Production, contact your BrettYoung Seed Production Specialist.