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Seed crop a puzzle to the community


Agriculture — New crop being farmed in the Newberg area catches residents' interest

Anyone driving along Mountainview Drive near the Allison Inn over the last few months may have noticed a new crop sitting in a nearby field.Photo Credit: GARY ALLEN - Colorful crop - Radish seed, seen here near the intersection of Mountainview Drive and Aspen Way, will be harvested and sold to a seed broker, who will likely ship it to customers in the Midwest.

Long green stems adorned with greenish-grey pods now fill that and many other fields and have started to be planted throughout Yamhill County over the past couple years.

“I first started seeing it about five years ago,” said Stan Gaibler, whose son owns Meadow Ridge Farms.

The crop is radish seed. Planted in the spring, the plant is left to grow throughout the summer. Most farmers will begin to harvest it this month and collect the seeds, Gaibler explained.

“When you harvest a crop, you market that crop through a seed broker,” he said. As demand for radish seed has risen in the Midwest over the past couple years, brokers have been looking to buy more of the product.

The seeds are combined with other plants and used as a cover crop to increase the health of the soil.

When his son first planted the crop it created a lot of interest.

“We had people calling us every day,” Gaibler said.