Canada may not have made it into the World Cup since 1986, but we can take solace in the fact that our country is the World Cup’s official grass dealer. No, not that kind of grass, the literal kind.
The field of green you see anytime you watch a World Cup match came from Manitoba, by way of agricultural company DLF Pickseed, which has the contract to supply grass to all 12 of Brazil's World Cup stadiums.
The company -- which also provided grass to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and the 2012 UEFA Cup in Poland and Ukraine -- boasts that its perennial ryegrass is sturdy enough to handle the running, sliding and rolling around in fake tears that inevitably happens in a World Cup match.
"They needed something that you could overseed, which is the perennial ryegrass that we grow right here in Manitoba," Terry Scott, a DLF Pickseed vice-president, told PortageOnline.
Overseeding means doubling up on the seeding of a lawn to make sure there are no gaps and weeds can’t take over. The World Cup pitches were first planted with Bermuda grass, then the perennial ryegrass was added over top.
For the World Cup, “you’ve got to keep the purity a little higher,” Manitoba farmer Evan Rasmussen, who sells grass to DLF Pickseed, told CTV News. “Every field gets inspected to make sure it’s of a certain quality.”
Rasmussen said it felt “really cool to have a little connection” to one of the world’s largest sporting events.
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