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Spring seed varieties will again be in demand this season – and growers are being advised to secure supplies sooner rather than later. Take action now to secure spring seed supplies

Spring seed varieties will again be in demand this season – and growers are being advised to secure supplies sooner rather than later.

Less barley is expected to be sown this spring than last – when poor weather saw sizeable amount of cropping entered into the ground due a delayed drilling season. But spring barley varieties continue to be popular with growers.

The supposition that there will be a plentiful supply of barley seed available this spring may well be based on a slightly false pretence, explains David Bouch, national seeds manager for agronomy company Hutchinsons.

“It is certainly becoming apparent that although there was a very large crop planted and harvested, the quality of some of those crops is beginning to present a problem, with germinations looking poor and therefore availability perhaps not the given that was perceived.”

RGT Planet, Laureate and LG Diablo (now fully approved for malting and distilling) will be the main three varieties in terms of market share. Newly recommended Tungsten and SY Splendor (under test) and Cosmopolitan (provisional recommendation) are also in demand.

Barley still offers the best competition for black-grass and therefore offers both an end market as well as agronomic benefit, says Mr Bouch. These barleys also offer high yield and can hold their own against out and out feed varieties such as Fairway and Prospect.

Spring wheat will have a more traditional uptake. But it invariably sells out. Varieties such as KWS Chilham, KWS Cochise and KWS Giraffe (very little available 2021) will be popular alongside Mulika as the only group one. Hexham may also see some uptake.

Spring oats will definitely be in tight supply, says Mr Bouch. Canyon remains a favourite among millers – WPB Isabel, Delfin and Elison are competitive when it comes to yield.

Spring Pulses are sought after, with beans being in demand after a shortfall in supply and a large reduction in winter rape. Lynx will be the likely top variety by area for spring 2021 with interest in LG Raptor and Ghengis likely to increase, depending upon availability.

Peas will in all likelihood see an increase in demand and advice should be sought as to the preferred end markets before final varietal choice is decided upon. “I would strongly advise that any pulse requirements are attended to at an early juncture to avoid disappointment.”