Wheat seed could be in short supply

Views are mixed over whether there is sufficient seed available to allow the full area not required for set-aside to be sown with wheat.

Overall supplies could be tight, says the AIC’s Paul Rooke.

“It’s a subject of some debate,” says Masstock’s Barry Barker. “Half the seed industry believes it may not have enough to meet demand.”

Battalion, Claire, Consort, Humber, Istabraq and Sahara have all sold out, he says. “And I can see Cordiale going soon.”

There should be enough other varieties, notably Alchemy and Robigus but for growers who have not ordered yet, supplies may not be forthcoming until October.

Oilseed rape can be drilled until the end of September provided conditions are favourable, says United Oilseeds’ Ian Munnery.

“A decision on whether it needs an industrial tag doesn’t need to be made until 15 May.

But whether there would be enough “fallback” industrial contracts on offer to soak up wheat output from extra sowings should set-aside remain unchanged is debatable.