GRAIN delivered to intervention stores this season will be accepted at 15% moisture content rather then the EU standard of 14.5%.

The relaxation follows pressure from farming unions via the government on Brussels. In previous seasons, the decision to ease the standard was made much later, leaving cereal growers facing the cost of re-drying grain if cereal markets came under pressure and grain was offered to intervention.

“Cereal growers will now be able to avoid incurring extra drying costs of up to £5/t by knowing the moisture content level well in advance,” says Richard Butler of the NFU.

The move should also reduce the chances of rejection, says Douglas Morrison of the Scottish NFU.

“Continuing low cereal prices means large quantities of grain may be destined for intervention this year. Our main competitors in Europe are routinely given such assistance, even though their harvest conditions are normally better than ours.”