Cereals 2008: Breeders applaud arable turnaround

Plant breeders have welcomed recent buoyancy in the main arable markets.

Cereals 2008 PICTURE GALLERY and FORUMS.

Royalties from increased sowings, especially of spring barley, have put an extra £4m into the industry, according to chairman Thomas Jolliffe.

Welcoming the turnaround in breeders’ fortunes, Dr Jolliffe said: “It’s good news and long overdue as our costs are continually rising.”

The effects of better grain prices and zero set-aside had seen an 18% increase in orders with an extra 72,000t of certified seed from BSPB members being sold this season.

“UK plc is clearly going to plough more back into plant breeding – let’s hope it’s a trend.”

Last year’s farm-saved seed arrangements, brought in with full NFU support to deter false declarations of royalty-bearing varieties as zero-rated ones, such as Riband and Hereward, was working well, he added.

He estimated that evasion of payments, backed by a full-time investigator and twice-yearly Fair Play campaign newsletters to an estimated 80% of growers, had fallen by 42% and 38% respectively for winter wheat and winter barley.

See: Cereals 2008

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