20 June 1997

Buster feed wheat buy-back contract earns 4% premium

A PREMIUM buy-back contract for feed wheat, believed to be a world first, has been launched by Dalgety this week.

The MasterFeed scheme follows 10 years of intensive research into the value of wheat as a feedstuff for non-ruminants, which eat 4m tonnes a year, or 80% of the market.

Findings show pigs and poultry digest Buster wheat more easily than other varieties, says Mick Hazzledine, Dalgetys chief nutritionist. The company is offering a 4% premium over the standard feed wheat price for this harvest and the next to farmers growing the variety from Dalgety seed. Other varieties and crops are expected to follow.

The contract demands full audit trails, says seeds manager David Neale. All participating growers will be expected to register with the Assured Combineable Crop scheme. That will aid traceability, eliminate salmonella risk and ensure pesticide residues are kept within limits.

Buster is favoured mainly because it has low soluble fibre levels, which reduce its viscosity, explains Mr Hazzledine. It also has a good amino acid profile. Stickier wheats are only partially digested, he adds, cutting their value by up to £14/t.n