Popular cereal seed varieties in short supply

Growers are being advised to purchase spring cereal seed now as availability of favourite varieties declines.

Following a challenging 2018 growing season which saw reduced yields for both autumn and spring sown cereal crops, David Huish, Wynnstay Woodheads seed sales manager, says this is having an impact on the availability of favourite choices. 

“While popular varieties are currently still available, overall spring cereal seed supplies are down, so I’d advise securing any outstanding seed as soon as possible,” he says.

With malting barley, a popular growing choice for Eastern growers as a result of the high margins, he notes some varieties for consideration.

“LG Diablo was new in 2018 and offers the best yield on the list at 106 in the East region and 107 in the North, outperforming other favourites such as Laureate. It has a strong agronomic profile and is a medium height variety similar to RGT Planet.

“LG Diablo also comes with a very good specific weight of 68.3 and is a favoured choice by maltsters. In May we’ll find out if it has dual purpose approval for both brewing and distilling, which will further increase its popularity for growers in the region.

“Another firm barley favourite for 2019 is Propino, with a good specific weight of 68.7, meaning it can be used for brewing and is a good feed option,” he adds.

Despite not being the highest yielding on the list, Laureate is a strong contender for growers looking for a brewing and distilling option, Mr Huish explains.

“It’s a very strong variety and is only one of two options for malting for brewing and distilling, having full MBC approval. Already very popular, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the highest selling spring barley in the UK for 2019.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.