23 October 1998

No rein on aid for linseed plantings

LINSEED area aid will not be affected by total plantings, even if there is a huge upswing in sowings as growers seek a low-cost alternative to barley.

Unlike oilseed rape, the crop has no maximum guaranteed area or budgetary limits, notes Chris Green of breeder Semundo. "There is absolutely no prospect of an MGA being applied to linseed."

Only exchange rates are likely to affect aid payments of £467/ha (£189/acre) in England and £449/ha (£182/acre) in non-LFA Scotland.

But growers must set out to grow the crop properly. "Officials will be watching to see crops are grown to sound agronomic practice and not simply scratched in late and harvested early," he warns.