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.”