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New Varieties of Southern States Forage Seed

At Southern States, providing our customers with top quality seed isn't just part of our mission, it's our heritage. Originally known as the Virginia Seed Service, Southern States was founded by a group of 150 farmers who were unsatisfied by the quality and adaptability of the seed they could purchase in Virginia. Through pooling their resources, not only did these farmers procure better seed, they saw better results in their fields. Nearly 100 years later, Southern States is still providing growers with the highest quality forage seed.

Stronger Together

Southern States works closely with FFR Cooperative and Allied Seed to ensure our customers have a consistent supply of high quality, value-added varieties of forage seed. FFR is a national seed breeding research organization founded in 1961 by several agriculture co-ops, including Southern States. Today Southern States is one of three owners of FFR. Once FFR completes researching and testing of seed varieties, Allied Seed produces them and Southern States in turn markets and distributes the forage seed.

Why Choose Southern States Seed?

Before going into a Southern States bag, each variety of our forage seed goes through extensive testing and field evaluation. "The process for any given variety may take over ten years and involve hundreds of evaluations," according to Ron Schmidt of Allied Seed. "Only the most elite lines can become Southern States varieties.

FFR conducts multiyear trials in a variety of areas throughout Southern States territory to determine yield and adaptability of perennial forages. "Local development and evaluation of new forage varieties assure the customer that these products are proven performers under their conditions," explains Sam Stratton of FFR Cooperative.  "Long-term evaluation is critical in determining whether or not to bring a new product to market." Only a few of the tested varieties will meet the stringent requirements to become a new release. The partnership between FFR and Southern States enables us to provide our customers with products that have been born, bred, tested and proven to work in our market area.

Know what's in the bag

Each bag of Southern States branded forage seed has labeling to inform the grower of overall seed quality, purity and germination of the enclosed product. The label includes the percentages of pure seed, other crop seed, inert and weed seed.  All Southern States seed meets or exceeds the industry standards for purity and germination. Remember when comparing seeds to buy, always compare the labels. "Often, what appears to be a "good" seed price is good only because there are germination or purity problems," notes Schmidt.

Our varieties

Regardless of whether you choose to seed your fields with red clover, orchardgrass or tall fescue forage you can be confident that each variety has superior genetics, outstanding field performance and is designed for animal safety.

Southern States Red Clover

  • Highly persistent, can be productive for three plus years
  • Withstands heavy grazing
  • Resistant to red clover diseases, such as anthracnose and black patch

Southern States Orchardgrass

  • Superior yield, highly persistent for many years
  • Suitable for haying or grazing
  • Highly palatable, especially when combined with other cool season grasses and legumes

Southern States "Forage Type" Tall Fescue

  • High yield and rapid regrowth
  • Developed with animal safe, low levels of endophyte
  • Excellent palatability

Growers searching for the best forage to fits their needs should first determine what they ultimately want their end result to be. Southern States Agronomy Professionals can help farmers analyze their current program and provide solutions that best meet the future needs of the farming operation.

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