3 July 1998

SOYA – AHOT CROP IN YORKSHIRE?

COULD soya become a valuable protein crop for Yorkshire growers? Certainly not within the next 10 years, according to the experts. But interest in the crop is becoming more widespread.

To help explain the crops potential, plots have been drilled in the arable area of this years show. Hand planted in mid-May, when the soil temperature reached the critical 10C (46F) threshold, the plots are likely to be the focus of discussions between farmer visitors and consultants.

Douglas Thomson, the show societys technical adviser, believes soya could have potential when earlier and more cold tolerant varieties are introduced. Although doubts have been voiced about the crops suitability for the northern England, Mr Thomson points out that similar questions were asked of maize and oilseed rape.

With earlier varieties and good yields, the crop could give a big boost to home grown protein inclusions in livestock rations, he adds. Continuing last years popular barley-to-beer-theme, the Institute of Brewers is making a return visit.

But, for cereal growers, the focus of attention will fall on breadmaking wheats. Visitors will be able to view plots of breadmaking varieties and grain buyers and millers will demonstrate what type of grain is required to produce different flours.

The Association of Master Bakers, led by Fred Marshall, an independent baker from Bradford, will be making fresh bread on the site.

The arable area also contains a demonstration of organic farming which could lead to the establishment of an organic centre on the showground next year.

Environmental topics are not overlooked. Visitors will be able to view a demonstration of hedgerow planting, using different mulches, and wild flower headlands. ADAS and independent crop consultants will staff the exhibit to answers visitors questions. &#42

Doug Thomson (left) and Ray Kitchen hope that soya, on display at the showground, could prove a useful crop for Yorkshire arable growers.