New varieties fail to impress

GROWERS ARE unlikely to be impressed by the latest additions to the Home Grown Cereals Authority‘s Recommended Lists (Dec 1), according to Dalgety.

“There will be little new material on the list that will appeal to growers,” said the firm‘s national seed business manager Barry Barker when reviewing the 2004/05 cereals and oilseed markets.

Group two varieties had shown a big increase in popularity, increasing from a 19.1% market share in 2004 to 24% in 2005 (based on certified seed sales), he said.

“Einstein has been a tremendous success,” he said, adding that it had now taken second place in winter wheat certified plantings.

This had been largely at the expense of Group 1 varieties such as Xi-19 and Malacca, which have both seen a fall in market share for 2005, he said.

In the barley market, the split between malting and feed varieties was nearing 50:50, as poor premiums continued to disappoint growers, Mr Barker said.

Pearl and Flagon were the main varieties to look out for on the malting side, while Carat and Sequel had also done well in the feed sector, he said.

“Six-rows have fallen back a little, but they still occupy a very significant share of the Scottish market,” he added.

For oilseed rape, low biomass varieties such as Castille and Caracas have both made strong gains, because of problems harvesting thicker, bulkier crops this season, he said.

Lioness and Castille were two key varieties to look out for, Mr Barker suggested.

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