21 July 1995

No respite as grass seed prices rise

GRASS seed prices will continue to firm this autumn, on the back of increases this spring after static prices for several years.

This is the prediction of south-west co-operative Mole Valley Farmers grass specialist John Jemmett.

He believes the upward price trend, which could add £3 to £4/acre to autumn seed costs, is due to the increasing cost of seed producers inputs and more profitable alternative crops. The result is reduced acreages and tonnages of UK produced seed.

Prices on the export markets also have become more attractive, especially in mainland Europe where weather conditions have reduced yields in the past two years.

Mr Jemmett joined MVF as a grass consultant last autumn. He has upgraded the seeds mixtures, with priority given to palatability.

"Palatable mixes increase intakes, to give higher yields an acre," he says (see p55).