STRONG EUROPEAN demand for Sebastian spring barley could boost export opportunities for south coast growers, even though the variety failed to win UK recommended list status, says breeder Advanta.

Although it lacks HGCA recommendation, demand for malting is strong in France and Denmark. By contrast, non-export varieties like Cocktail face haulage costs of up to 15/t from the south coast to UK maltings in Essex and Burton-on-Trent, says Advanta”s Paul Hickman.

NIAB urges growers to secure a contract. “Get a good buy-back contract agreed before making this choice,” says NIAB”s Clare Leaman.