2 November 2001

Fears over milling wheat crash

SEED certification data suggesting a crash in milling wheat area has prompted nabim to urge growers to go for Group 1 or 2 varieties with any land left to drill.

Early figures from NIAB show Group 1 varieties at 17% of seed certified and Group 2 at "a paltry 1%", says nabim. That compares with 28% combined last season.

"The milling percentage could creep up a bit with varieties like Soissons and Charger, but it will still be less than 20%," says NIABs Richard Fenwick.

Alex Waugh of nabim says growers could look to newcomers Xi19 or Option. "A variety like Option has some potential in the Group 2 slot. Xi19 shows considerable promise – our quality expectation is that it will be better than Option."

Milling premiums at £15-£18/t over feed for full specification Group 1 types more than make up for any shortfall in yield, and with these newer varieties that shortfall is considerably less in any case, he says.

"The numbers suggest that every opportunity should be taken to plant Group 1 or Group 2 varieties for which there is a strong demand in domestic and export markets." &#42