World Cup fields trace roots to Willamette Valley grass farms

PHILOMATH, Ore. - The World Cup in Brazil has roots in Oregon, which supplied thousands of pounds of grass seed for fields.

DLF Pickseed is a global company based out of Denmark, but they have a research facility in Philomath, where grass specialists designed the blend of perennial ryegrass being used at the World Cup.

Most of the World Cup soccer fields are Bermuda grass based, which in the winter months goes dormant.

That's a problem in Brazil in the Southern Hemisphere, where winter is about start.

DLF Pickseed USA sent 300,000 pounds of a blend designed specifically for the World Cup to overseed the dormant Bermuda grass.

"It's got excellent establishment, very good disease resistance, heat tolerance, it's got everything it needs to handle the hot humid conditions that they have down at the World Cup," said DLF Pickseed researcher Steve Reid.

The grass was developed to be able to handle heavy wear and tear from multiple games in a short time period, Reid said.

The company is excited to have their grass being displayed on a global stage. They supplied grass for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and Reid said they are already working on a blend for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.