13 October 1995

Tight supplies hit listed grass

LIVESTOCK producers are being warned that tight grass seed supplies could see some merchants offering older or foreign varieties as cheaper alternatives to those recommended on the NIAB list.

Italian ryegrass seed stocks are those worst affected. This is due to increase demand for seed for catch cropping after the early maize harvest to help ease the pressure on winter forage stocks, claims Paul Billings, British Seed Houses herbage seed manager.

"Stocks of intermediate and late ryegrass seeds are also low due to an increase in autumn re-seeding," he says, and warns that much of this years seed crop has already been used.

NIABs Jim McVittie advises using varieties that have been tested in the UK even when they are not good enough for the recommended variety list. He says merchants know the weaknesses of these varieties and can make a judgement on which to use. Those not tested in the UK may have poor disease resistance or be low yielding. &#42