Updated: Nov 8
What if sustainable products worked better and helped the environment at the same time? That’s been Pure Seed’s mission for decades: developing solution-based products that require less water and other inputs. Our research company, Pure-Seed Testing, Inc. was founded in 1974, right after the Plant Variety Protection Act passed. We expanded our footprint in 1991 by opening PST East in Rolesville, North Carolina USA. Today, we collaborate with universities and private companies across 20+ countries.
Sustainable production. One of our main focuses at PST West in Oregon is maximizing seed yield through dedicated seed yield trials. This equates to fewer acres producing more seed. The reduction in required acres allows farmland to be utilized for other important crops. Our yield-assured program creates a sustainable production program for the farmer along with quality varieties that require fewer inputs to grow.
Water Conservation. We co-founded the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA) alongside direct competitors in 2010. TWCA is a 501c(3) non-profit committed to water conservation and dedicated to preserving the ecological benefits of turfgrass in managed environments. TWCA’s trialing is a multi-year approach with rigorous drought testing parameters. The program uses Digital Image Analysis (DIA) technology. This entails a lightbox creating a controlled lighting environment to take images of each individual turf plot. The images are analyzed by software to determine the percentage of green cover. The data are analyzed by TWCA’s Research Review Committee that consists of four separate university researchers: Dr. Cale Bigelow (Purdue University), Dr. John Stier (University of Tennessee), Dr. Matteo Serena (United States Golf Association – USGA), and Dr. Tyler Carr (Ohio State University). Only the top varieties that demonstrate a statistically significant water saving potential across the multiyear trials receive TWCA Qualification. Make every drop count by using TWCA Qualified products.
Reduction of Inputs. A top breeding objective of PST East in North Carolina is increasing the resistance to specific diseases including brown patch, gray leaf spot, dollar spot, and rust. PST East is strategically located in the US Transition Zone, which receives extreme summer disease pressure. This allows us to screen for top disease resistance in both cool- and warm-season turfgrasses. Greater disease resistance leads to fewer inputs; and fewer inputs lead to less maintenance and mowing. Healthier plants require fewer pesticides, delivering a better return for the environment and our precious resources.
Seed Coating Solutions. Our motto is that research never stops; this remains true with our dedicated seed coating R&D. We are continually looking at ways to improve seed coating formulations and applications. Targeted seed coating applications improve plant health and reduce the danger of runoff from over application of fertilizer. Seed coatings can enhance root development which allows for more efficient plant uptake of nutrients.
Sustainability Never Stop. Continual environmental changes lead to new environmental pressures. Gray leaf spot used to be predominantly a ryegrass disease and now we see it as a major disease problem in tall fescue. Mandatory water reductions will continue to become more prevalent. Along with our partner, Atlas Turf International, we are the only company that has a seed-propagated turf-type seashore paspalum. Seashore paspalum is inherently salt and heat tolerant. It can be watered with very high levels of salinity, survive in extreme heat, and recover quickly from injury. The ability to purchase seed over vegetative material is more sustainable in transporting and storing the material. Our breeding program is also working on the development of seed-propagated zoysiagrass cultivars for turf. Zoysiagrass is a sustainable species that can persist under lower nitrogen fertility than other warm-season turfgrass species. A dense, well-established zoysiagrass turf also requires few herbicides for weed control.
As we continue to see the world around us change, we must continue to strive to research and develop more sustainable turfgrasses that reduce required inputs and meet the needs of professionals around the world. At Pure Seed, research continues to drive us toward the future with a dedication to be one step ahead.