Cereals 2015: Seed price slashed for hybrid barley

Syngenta has dropped the price of its Hyvido hybrid winter barley seed by £100/pack, it was announced at the Cereals event.

The recommended farmgate price for existing hybrid variety Volume has come down from £595 to £495/pack, while the two new varieties for autumn 2015, Bazooka and Belfry, have been reduced from £615 to £515/pack.

See also: Hybrid-barley growers receive Syngenta payout

The new price includes a single-purpose seed treatment, confirmed James Taylor-Alford of Syngenta.

“A pack of hybrid barley seed is enough to drill 5ha at our recommended rate of 200 seeds/sq m,” he said. “So our new price brings the seed cost down to about £99/ha for Volume and £103/ha for Bazooka and Belfry.”

He stressed that unlike conventional seed, Hyvido costs are not linked to commodity pricing. “We looked at the grower’s return on investment when making this decision. We are confident Bazooka and Belfry are worth the small £4/ha premium and that at the new pricing growers will be tempted to try them.”

The cashback yield guarantee, which offers a refund if hybrids do not outyield conventional varieties by at least 0.5t/ha, will continue across all varieties, added Mr Taylor-Alford.

David Waite, seed manager of Frontier Agriculture, noted that £100/ha for hybrid barley seed was the right price level for many growers. “This price reduction was needed – it was simply too expensive before, given the current economic conditions and predicted margins.”

Many growers have had very good results with hybrid barley, he added. “And the two new varieties are a step forward. They have a 2% yield advantage over all the existing winter barley choices and their grain quality is good.”

For more news, photos, video and information on the Cereals event see our Cereals 2015 page 

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