by Sterling Allen
for Agri-Times NW
Madras-"We are continually looking for something new to grow" said Kurt Feigner operator of K&S Farms, Inc. Madras "When we started farming we were striving to add value to our production. Grass seed allowed us the opportunity to increase the value of our crop."
He planted Sherman Big Blue grass in 2004 and marketed directly to seed companies. That experience opened the door to a relationship that is still growing and evolved into growing different specialty grass, forb, and wildflower seeds.
K&S Farms currently produces many types of Grass seed. Among these are Kentucky Bluegrass, Sherman Big Bluegrass and Highcrest Crested Wheat grass. K&S farms also produces other specialty crops including Western Yarrow, Utah Sweet Vetch and Rocky Mt. Penstemon. They continue to conduct trials on ½ acre blocks to determine if the specialty seed crops will produce quality seed. They may start a planting with only a handful of hard to source specialty seed that if successfully grown can be very profitable.
K&S Farms is currently a licensed seed dealer and directly markets production to seed companies and farmer direct sales. Direct sales include CRP mixes, Wildlife Enhancement mixes, and other native grasses and flower seed projects throughout the PNW.
Feigner enjoys the opportunity to help farmers with their grass and planting needs. His farming background is a plus in dealing with his customer base." We can blend and source about anything the customer can imagine," says Kurt
Several years ago Kurt and wife Sandy formed a partnership with two other farm families and built a state of the art seed cleaning company named Obsidian Seed Company. The seed production is expertly cleaned and segregated in order to meet tough quality demands. Producing the highest quality seed is the number one goal. Obsidian Seed custom cleans seed for other Pacific Northwest growers as well as the individual partner's production.
In addition to over 500 acres of grass seed raised K&S Farms also produces Hard Red Spring Wheat, alfalfa and carrot seed. Feedlot manure from High Desert Organix was being applied to a future carrot seed field. "We have been applying manure the past few years and have had great results," said Feigner
Feigner and his wife Sandy are blessed to have three capable educated sons involved in the farming operation which allows Feigner to dedicate more time to successfully market their crop production.
K&S Farms have been successful in their agricultural operations by shifting emphasis from just growing ag commodities to now adding value to their farm production crops. They strive to produce crops that have the ability to generate farm sales of at least $1500 per acre.
For more information from a farmers prospective on grass seed production and grass seed sales inquires call Kurt at (541)410-3063