10 July 1998

GM calculator makes cereals choice easier

COMPARING the potential gross margin of recommended winter wheat, winter barley and spring barley varieties on your own farm is now far easier thanks to a new service from NIAB.

Its GM calculator combines national trials with farm details to produce potential yield, financial output, gross margin and optimal input spending figures for recommended varieties on your farm.

A typical crop management scenario is chosen according to region, soil type, yield potential, first or second wheat and early or late drilling. Further farm-specific information on seed rate, nitrogen use, disease and lodging risk and market prices is then gathered.

The model includes assumptions about the input needs of different varieties according to their NIAB ratings. Grain prices, including appropriate premiums, are based on 10-year averages from the HGCA.

In its current form growers supply farm details by post and get a print-out of the models calculations by return. An interactive version, which can be accessed on-screen through the internet, is planned, says model designer Stuart Meikle.

Cost is £10 per scenario for NIAB Association members and £15 for non-members.

On-line GM comparisons are now an option for growers.