CRAIG'S JUICY NATIVE GRASS GOSSIP & Research

No. 9 - December,2001

California native grass industry news: Profiles on our State's four major California native grass seed growers, with acres in production, size of production plots, geographic range of species that can be successfully grown, number of Certified Yellow Tag varieties, production standards, ecotypes in production, etc.


Edited and published by Craig Dremann of The Reveg Edge (sm).
P.O. Box 609, Redwood City, Cal. 94064. Phone (650) 325-7333 or e-mail
The URL of this issue is: http://www.ecoseeds.com/juicy.gossip.nine.html

If you would like to read the previous and more recent issues about native grasses :
Index at http://www.ecoseeds.com/juicy.html



Profiles on our State's four major California native grass seed growers, with acres in production, size of production plots, geographic range of species that can be successfully grown, number of Certified Yellow Tag varieties, production standards, ecotypes in production, etc.



Name: Conservaseed - Update, in 2016 out of the native gtass seed business.
Contact: Scott Stewart
Address: P.O. Box 455 Rio Vista, CA 94571
Phone: (916) 775-1676
FAX: (916) 775-1163
County of growing grounds: Yolo and Solano counties
Date started native grass seed production: 1981, with three acre test fields of three species.
Acres for production 2001: 900*
Acres in production 2000: 850*
Acres in production 1997-99: Downward trend from a previous high of over 1,000 acres*
Largest, smallest, and average production plots: "Molate" fescue largest at 44 acres, smallest 0.5 acre, and average is 5-7 acres.
Contract growing - per acre price: Only contract grow on a price per pound.
Range of geographic areas can grow successfully:
---Coast ranges from what north-to-south area: Del Norte to Baja, except do not grow any Cal. Fescue because it has no resistance to aphid-borne yellow barley virus.
---Central valley ecotypes: Yes
---Sierras, to what elevation: 5,000-6,000 feet
---Mojave or Colo. deserts: Yes, grow them on sandy soils.
Number of Certified Yellow Tag varieties (grasses and wildflowers): 69
Productions standards (using Nassella pulchra as reference):
Minimum germination = > 80%, often in mid 70's, highest 90% in good year.
Minimum purity = >95-98%+
Maximum weed seed = <0.25%
Maximum "other crop" =<0.25-1.3%, with a high of 0.5% for Lolium
"Other crop" = Bromus catharticus, Lolium

Total number of ecotypes in cultivation annually: 43 in library and grow out 23-25 per year for production
Estimated gross native grass seed sales: 60,000-100,000 pounds
Estimated gross sales: Not stated.
Comments: * Production acreage figures listed includes some non-native grass production, like
"Zorro" fescue, etc.


Name: Hedgerow Farms
Principal contact: John Anderson - Update, in 2016 has been sold to S&S Seeds
Other contacts: Marsha Anderson and Tanya
Address: 21740 County Rd. 88 Winters, CA 95694
Phone: (530) 662-4570 Shop (530) 662-6847
FAX: (530) 668-8369
County of growing grounds: Yolo
Date started native grass seed production: 1989
Acres for production 2001: 400
Acres in production 2000: 300
Acres in production 1999: 200
Acres in production 1998: 150
Acres in production 1997: 150
Largest, smallest, and average production plots: 15 acres largest, 1/3 acre smallest, and 2.5-3 acres average.
Contract growing - per acre price, if customer supplies stock seed: No set price but could bid a price/acre
Range of geographic areas can grow successfully:
---Coast ranges from what north-to-south area: Not usually done but is possible.
---Central valley ecotypes: Yes
---Sierras, to what elevation: 4,000-5,000 feet
---Mojave or Colo. deserts: Not attempted yet.
Number of Certified Yellow Tag varieties: 6, with 15 applied for.
Productions standards (using Nassella pulchra as reference):
Minimum germination = > 80% and 85+% best
Minimum purity = High 90's, 95+% best
Maximum weed seed = <0.5%
Maximum "other crop" =<2%
"Other crop" = Lolium and Vulpia

Total number of ecotypes in cultivation annually: 30
Estimated annual production (pounds): not stated
Estimated gross native grass seed sales: not stated
Comments: Adding forbs in the near future.


Name: Rana Creek Ranch - Update, in 2016 out of the native gtass seed business.
Contact: Paul Kephart
Other contacts: Erin Kenyon, Sales and marketing; Steve Canepa, Seed operations man.
Address: 35351 E. Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Phone: (831) 659-3811
FAX: (831) 659-4851
County of growing grounds: Carmel Valley, Monterey
Date started native grass seed production: at Rana Creek Ranch 1994, (originally started growing native grasses, 1989)
Acres for production 2001: 125 acres
Acres in production 2000: 100 acres
Acres in production 1999: 80 acres
Acres in production 1998: 80 acres
Acres in production 1997: 80 acres
Largest, smallest, and average production plots: 5 acres largest, 0.25 acre smallest, average not stated.
Contract growing - can you quote a per acre price if customer supplies stock seed: Usually quote by the PLS pound, however $8,000 per acre if customer agrees to buy a minimum poundage in four subsequent years.
Range of geographic areas can grow successfully:
---Coast ranges from what north-to-south area: Sonoma to San Luis Obispo Co.
---Central valley ecotypes: Yes
---Sierras, to what elevation: 3,500 to 6,000 feet from the Northern Sierras.
---Mojave or Colo. deserts: Yes
Number of Certified Yellow Tag varieties: None completed, seven applications in process.
Total number of ecotypes in cultivation annually: 120 different populations in our library and in any one year we will grow 15-20
Productions standards (using Nassella pulchra as reference):
Minimum germination = > 90%+
Minimum purity = > 98%+
Maximum weed seed = < 0.25%
Maximum "other crop" =< 0.2%
"Other crop" = Other native grass seeds, Lolium.
Notes: We sometimes have mustard or wild oats, and we clean all of our own seed, so we can reclean seed in order to achieve high germ and purity levels. We do not have any noxious weeds in our fields.
Estimated total annual production (pounds): 25,000-30,000
Estimated gross native grass seed sales: $750,000
Comments: We can yield 600 lbs/acre on Bromus carinatus, 200 lbs/acre for Nassella pulchra, 350 pounds/acre for Elymus glaucus. Most of our productions is limited to growing for clients and agencies that we are conducting long-term restoration projects for. Little of our seed ends up on the retail market. We can do both coastal varieties and high elevation Sierran species. We welcome anyone who wants site-specific seed collected and grown, to come to us and reserve their acreage now.


Name: S&S Seeds
Contact: Vic Schaff
Address: P.O. Box 1275 Carpinteria, CA 93013
Phone: (805) 684-0436
FAX: (805) 684-2798
County of growing grounds: Santa Barbara*
Date started native grass seed production: 1991
Acres for production 2001: not stated
Acres in production 2000: 100 * (see comments)
Acres in production 1999: 100 *
Acres in production 1998: 100 *
Acres in production 1997: 100 *
Contract growing per acre price if customer supplies stock seed: $12,000
Largest, smallest, and average production plots: 30 acres largest, 1/2 acre smallest, and the average is not stated
Range of geographic areas can grow successfully:
---Coast ranges from what north-to-south area: Del Norte to Baja
---Central valley ecotypes: Yes
---Sierras, to what elevation: 8,000 feet
---Mojave or Colo. deserts: No
Number of Certified Yellow Tag varieties (including wildflowers): 78
Total number of ecotypes in cultivation annually: 25
Productions standards (using Nassella pulchra as reference): not stated
Minimum germination = > not stated
Minimum purity = > not stated
Maximum weed seed = < not stated
Maximum "other crop" =< not stated
"Other crop" = not stated
Estimated annual production: 30,000 pounds
Estimated gross native grass seed sales: $500,000
Comments: * Production acres listed above are only for Santa Barbara County. Other seed production areas are located in other parts of California and in other states.


Updated April 4, 2016. Back to Craig Dremann's main Contents page.