The Grass Underfoot

The Grass Underfoot

The Grass Underfoot. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
Here is something I had never really thought about before but with the football and soccer seasons underway thoughts turn to the green stuff. Underneath all the cleats, you are likely to find an Oregon agricultural product. But natural turf is facing competition from artificial turf despite its many advantages. Athletic fields include everything from little league baseball to high school soccer to college and pro football. Chances are, if it's a natural playing surface, it's made with Oregon grass seed, according to John Byers of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

BYERS:  I think it comes as no surprise that local high schools, college teams, professional teams prefer to play on real grass. And if they play on real grass, that means they depend on the Oregon grass seed industry.
While more and more high school sports complexes are installing artificial turf because of heavy use, a majority rely on turfgrass. There remains several advantages to the real thing.

BYERS:  It's safer to play on real grass than it is artificial turf, and there is the environmental issues. Grass seed puts off oxygen. That's an environmentally friendly product.

Oregon's 510-million dollar grass seed industry supplies grasses for forage, but a majority is targeted at turf production. Only 12 of the National Football League's 31 teams use artificial turf in their home fields. With an abundance of grass seed currently on the market, it's important for the industry to continue supplying high quality product for those who are responsible for athletic fields. Byers says there is an oversupply of grass seed right now, which means it continues to be important to market the product to sports venues.

BYERS: Oregon's grass seed industry is a 510-million dollar industry. The industry has suffered some setbacks like many sectors of the economy. Grass seed is a good bargain right now. It's a viable product and a valuable product and a good deal is to be had by anybody who uses real grass.
Byers says as you watch NFL football this season, chances are you will be seeing real grass that comes from Oregon's grass seed industry

BYERS: In the National Football League, only 12 of the 31 teams playing coast-to-coast are using artificial turf. I think that speaks for itself.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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