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Bittersweet comeback for two industries

Demand for grass seed and nursery stock, which fell sharply during the recession, seems to be making a come back. The market has found some equilibrium as some producers have turned to other things as the housing market has improved.

Editorial


Oregon grass seed growers and nurserymen were hit hard when the housing market crashed in the early days of the recession.

Barns up and down the Willamette Valley were filled with seed no one wanted, and nursery producers watched helplessly as stock grew larger with no prospects of a sale. The last few years have been a challenge for everyone, and disastrous for too many.

There’s some indication that both industries are beginning to see an uptick as new homes are being built and the used inventory is beginning to move again. Grass seed prices are up, and nurserymen say they’re receiving orders at a better pace than the previous few years.

But the good news of increased demand is bittersweet, offset by the fact that supply has also contracted. Many growers have either switched crops or gone out of business altogether.

Markets always find equilibrium. Unfortunately, it’s often at the expense of earnest men and women who couldn’t hang on.



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