27 July 2001

Beware Sassenach canopy advice, Scots told

GROWERS in Scotland should beware of canopy management advice from the south, says a leading advisor north of the border.

Seed rates must be kept up for all but the earliest sowings, he maintains.

SAC Scottish Agronomys Huw Phillips believes the extra low seed rates being proposed for September sowings in England would end in disaster under Scottish growing conditions.

"Dont get carried away with these ridiculously low seed rates. There is a message in what they are saying, but it is walking too close to the cliff edge up here."

He suggests Riband and Consort growers with a good seed-bed aim for 300 seeds/sq m in early September, increasing to 400-450 by the end of the month. From mid-October onwards 500 seeds/sq m is sensible. For Claire and Malacca about 50 seeds/sq m less is acceptable.

Growers may save a little on seed cost by cutting rates, but go too low and extra slug pellet applications and spring herbicides will soon cancel that out, he warns. &#42