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Grasses flourishing in rain


Record amounts of rain in the Willamette Valley this spring have played havoc with everything from tree fruits to wheat. Grass seed, however, is an exception.



"All this moisture has been good for the grass," said Ken Iverson of Iverson Farms.



"The only thing I'm worried about is the cool weather hasn't been good for pollination," said Tom Silberstein, a Marion County extension agent.



Where wheat rusts flourish in the cold, wet temperatures that have been common this spring in the valley, the stem rust common in grasses likes warmer conditions, Silberstein said.



"I think the rust infections in grasses will be less than usual," Silberstein said. "But that doesn't mean people should let their guard down. They still need to be watching fields."



Iverson said he increased fungicide treatments in wheat this spring but was operating a normal spray program in grasses.



With any kind of pollination, Silberstein believes growers can expect good yields come harvest.



"The next week is going to be critical," Silberstein said.



— Mitch Lies



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