25 August 1995

Future looks secure for mobile cleaners

A MIDLANDS firm of mobile seed cleaners remains optimistic for the future despite the imposition of farm-saved seed royalties and growing competition.

With about 70% of growers still using certified seed there is plenty of scope, maintains Nick Downey, partner in CYO Seeds (Midlands).

"But we dont anticipate any great expansion. We are still faced with a couple of years of confusion, which is very unsettling. But we dont feel quite so threatened as we have been in the past."

The firms turnover has tended to level off over the past three years as committed farm-savers firm up their systems and opportunist savers decline.

Most of his customers pay as much attention to their crops destined for saving as do contracted seed growers, claims Mr Downey.

Independent companies are not the only operators of mobile seed cleaners. A Dalgety spokesman confirmed that the firm runs four mobiles, some inherited through the take-over of AAM at Ely, Cambs. Another is operated through subsidiary Cleanacres (Northern) in Lincs.

But their operation represents only a small part of the companys overall seed business, he stressed. "Dalgety is not making a major investment in mobiles." He claims more farmers are switching back to certified seed this year to avoid the hassle of farm saving.

Willmot Pertwee, which runs seven machines across the country, has moved into mobiles recently. &#42