26 June 1998

Dalgety claims seed certificate offers marketing benefits

Crop assurance, fungicide

effects and varieties were on

the menu at Dalgetys

Throws Farm open day in

Essex last week.

Andrew Swallow reports

A NEW cereal seed quality assurance certificate, launched last week, will be a valuable marketing tool for growers, claims Dalgety.

"It will give the farmer and the end buyer confidence in the purity of the crop," says national seeds product manager, David Neale.

Every seed batch produced by the company is tested by growing about 5000 plots a year at the firms Throws Farm in Essex. Purity information gleaned from the plots as the ears emerge will automatically be forwarded to growers well before harvest. Details from this seasons findings should be relayed within the next two weeks.

"The last thing end-users of grain want is variability in performance," says Mr Neale. "We are seeing increasing field problems from farm-saved seed, such as weeds, previous crop admixtures, and off-types. Buyers are becoming ever more discerning. This certificate enables the grower to pass on the incredibly high standards of our seed to the grain purchaser."

Roger Clarke, malting barley buyer for Pauls Malt, welcomes the Dalgety move. "Anything like this must be good for the long term interest of the industry. We already support the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme and a certificate like this could decrease the workload on farmers hoping to join."

Grain buyers, especially millers and maltsters, should find reassurance in Dalgetys new seed certificate, maintains David Neale.