22 January 1999

Scottish seed short

A SEED grain shortage is the latest concern among Scottish farmers.

The inability to sow more than half the winter wheat crop last autumn because of continuous wet weather has resulted in a 20% increase in demand for spring barley.

Scottish Agricultural College grain expert David Cranstoun said there was little chance of growers getting their favoured varieties. "There will be seed around but it will not be what the farmer wants," he said

Dalgety Arable confirmed that home supplies of the most popular variety, Optic, were sold out. "There are limited supplies from France, but at around £350/t, and the same is true for Prisma," said Scottish manager Willie Fergusson.

There were sufficient supplies of another Scottish favourite, Chariot, and plentiful supplies of Landlord, a newcomer for which there were high hopes, but which performed badly last year. &#42