Oregon grass seed harvest

Grass seed harvest in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The International Herbage Seed Conference will be May 14-16 in Corvallis, Ore.

Seed researchers and production managers from around the globe will gather in Oregon this spring for the biennial International Herbage Seed Conference.

The conference marks the return of the event to Oregon after a 30-year hiatus.

“Oregon is the largest seed-producing region in the world, so people are really looking forward to getting back here for an overdue visit,” said Oregon State University Extension field crops agent Nicole Anderson.

The most recent conference, held in the fall of 2017, was in Pergamino, Argentina. The group’s 2015 conference was in Lanzhou, China.

Anderson said she expects around 200 members to attend when the 2019 conference convenes May 14-16 in Corvallis.

The proceedings will include a May 12-13 pre-conference tour of seed farms in the Willamette Valley and a May 17-19 post-conference tour of seed fields and facilities in Central and Eastern Oregon. The conference will include presentations and outside workshops in Corvallis.

Among the items on the program are oral presentations and posters on agronomy and physiology, breeding and genetics of herbage seed crops, pest management, seed quality and seed technology. Attendees also will have an opportunity to participate in on-farm workshops.

On May 15, which is billed as Industry Day, growers, field reps and others in the Oregon seed industry are encouraged to attend, Anderson said.

“Part of the day will be focused on invited keynote speakers that we think will be interesting for our local seed industry to hear from and interact with,” Anderson said. The afternoon of Industry Day will include a field day at OSU’s Hyslop Research Farm just north of Corvallis.

Registration for the single day is $75 if registering before April 29. Registration for the full conference is $495.

The International Herbage Seed Group, which puts on the conference, was started in 1978 “to encourage cooperation and communication between workers actively engaged in herbage seed production research.”

Oregon has long been represented in the group. David Chilcote, a former seed crop physiologist at Oregon State University, served as chairman of the Herbage Seed Group in the 1980s; former OSU Extension Seed Specialist Bill Young served as president in the early 2000s; and OSU seed crop physiologist Tom Chastain is the group’s current president.

Anderson serves as co-editor of the group’s newsletter.

In the Journal of Applied Seed Production Research, the group has compiled 231 papers by authors from 24 countries. The group also has compiled reports on its conference proceedings dating back to 1995. Both of these compilations can be found on the group’s website, https://ihsg.org/.

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