Farmer loses out with Winner

A SOMERSET farmer has said he is unable to grow a leading oilseed rape variety because he wants less than the company is prepared to sell him.

Richard Payne, who farms 260ha (650 acres) near Taunton, says he was “absolutely flabbergasted” Banks Cargill would not let him buy a single 25kg bag of Winner winter rapeseed.

“I just want to grow the variety on one 8ha field. But I‘ve been told I have to buy a minimum of three bags,” he told FARMERS WEEKLY.

“I can understand if it was a question of transport cost, but they‘ve even turned down my offer to pick it up from their Andover depot.”

Banks Cargill said Winner has been sold under its minimum three bag policy since it was launched three years ago.

“This is to ensure it is competitively priced, but still bring a decent return for bringing the variety to market and cover its on-going development,” said BCA commercial manager Charlie Whitmarsh.

The minimum bag policy depends on the variety and costs associated, he added.

Fortis and Royal, for example, are available in a minimum order of two 25kg bags, while only some spring varieties can be bought in single bags.