20 October 1995

Order barley seed now, growers told

FARMERS should order spring barley seed now if they want first choice varieties like Prisma, Chariot and Derkado.

"With set-aside reduced to 10%, pressure on spring barley seed will be high. Even now, the English trade is acutely short of cover," claims Dalgety seed specialist Harry Clark.

"There was a revival in spring barley in Scotland this past year and the trend could well be maintained."

Chariot and Prisma will dominate, backed by Derkado, he reckons. Market shares were 24%, 23% and 13% respectively this year, he notes.

Optic also did well, securing 2% and, although cautious about maturity, Mr Clark admits it matched Prisma this summer. Delibes with its high nitrogen and yield doubled share to 7%, and stalwarts Tyne and Golden Promise also strengthened.

Among winter barleys Pastoral has continued its success, claiming half the Scottish market this autumn. Manitou retained a 20% share and Linnet matched its promise, taking 8%.

Among winter wheats Riband continued to lead, with 75% of the Scottish market last year. "Its success is down to its proven performance, and we see varieties such as Hunter, Consort and Brigadier as challengers," says Mr Clark.

Despite September flooding, autumn sowings throughout Scotland are on course, he adds.