A HAMPSHIRE-based grain merchant is offering a new premium contract for organic oat growers across the country.

Robin Appel have added milling oats to their premium organic contracts, which also include malting barley and milling wheat.

The oat contract has been established against a background of falling prices, said the firm‘s Robin Appel.

“Too many oats were coming onto the market and the price got shot to pieces. Farmers were starting to say what‘s the point in growing them?”

The contract gives farmers more confidence in where their crop is going and what price they will get, he said.

The company supplies seed against buy-back contracts for its preferred varieties of cereals – Gerald and Banquo oats, Cellar spring barley for malting and Hereward and Paragon for milling wheat.

Providing farmers with greater certainty of their end market is something the whole farming industry should adopt, Mr Appel said.

“The rest of the industry could learn some lessons from the organic sector.”