The wet weather in September which put harvest on pause for some seed crops has led to quality issues and possible seed shortages for the coming season.
Low germination rates are being seen in both spring barley and spring oats said Jim Knight, seed business development manager at Frontier.
“We are seeing there will be shortages of some varieties and spring commodities so I would advise securing seed sooner rather than later."
“Those planning to drill home saved seed really ought to get those tested for germination, to understand if there are any requirements for bought in seed,” he added.
For the 2020/21 season, the spring barley market will continue to be dominated by RGT Planet, Laureate and LG Diablo.
“They are the ones with full approval for malting or brewing use and therefore what maltsters, brewers and grain buyers are interested in. Even though on the RL there are now four varieties that are newer than Diablo, they will not feature in a significant way until they have got that approval for quality use, creating a one-to-two-year delay in the uptake of new varieties.
“The good news, if you look at Planet, Laureate and Diablo, is they are still very respectable yield figures at 100-102 per cent. Last year the bulk of the new varieties were only a per cent or two ahead. This means farmers are not losing much yield potential by staying with these varieties for another year and by now they have got enough experience with growing them to really push performance.”