Agricultural Economics Department
agricultural economics, grass seed production, non-certified seed
Finding ways to supplement a farm income can be difficult, yet many producers have found alternative enterprises for their farming operation. One of which many South Dakota farmers are considering is growing grass seed. Because of the increased demand for grass seed it is fast becoming a profitable alternative to traditional or row-crop production. The economic viability of producing grass seed can vary widely. However, with an understanding of the risks involved--production costs, the weather, government programs, and the presence of weeds and damaging insects—growing grass seed can be a worthwhile investment. Producers need to be aware that decisions to produce grass seed should be based not only on the perceived profitability of such a crop but also their ability to handle risk. Government programs which influence grass seed prices, such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), are subject to budget cuts and provisions. It was the CRP itself that increased the demand for grass seed by developing provisions to reduce surplus grain stocks by decreasing crop acreages. Also, given the apparent profitability of grass seed production, many producers will probably start up. This will increase grass seed supplies in the years ahead, resulting in downward pressure on prices. This bulletin is intended to aid South Dakota producers in the establishment and management of grass seed production acreages. Economic and marketing concerns are also addressed.
Agricultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University
Twidwell, E. K.; Beutler, M. K.; Kephart, K. D.; and Boe, A., "Grass Seed Production in South Dakota Guidelines" (1987). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 270.