Plant breeders have welcomed recent buoyancy in the main arable markets.

Cereals 2008 PICTURE GALLERY and FORUMS.

Royalties from increased sowings, especially of spring barley, have put an extra £4m into the industry, according to chairman Thomas Jolliffe.

Welcoming the turnaround in breeders’ fortunes, Dr Jolliffe said: “It’s good news and long overdue as our costs are continually rising.”

The effects of better grain prices and zero set-aside had seen an 18% increase in orders with an extra 72,000t of certified seed from BSPB members being sold this season.

“UK plc is clearly going to plough more back into plant breeding – let’s hope it’s a trend.”

Last year’s farm-saved seed arrangements, brought in with full NFU support to deter false declarations of royalty-bearing varieties as zero-rated ones, such as Riband and Hereward, was working well, he added.

He estimated that evasion of payments, backed by a full-time investigator and twice-yearly Fair Play campaign newsletters to an estimated 80% of growers, had fallen by 42% and 38% respectively for winter wheat and winter barley.

See: Cereals 2008