• FANFARE malting barley needs more nitrogen fertiliser than Halcyon to maximise malting returns.
Independent trials show that on the same site and with the same management Fanfare typically accumulates less nitrogen than Halcyon, creating headaches for maltsters who want to use the variety in malt for lager and keg beer.
"Maltsters have been complaining that N levels are just too low. So we are advising malting growers they can push fertiliser use a little harder," says Advanta Seeds Paul Hickman.
• BRIDGING the gap between farming and the public is the goal of a new booklet from the HGCA. Tens of thousands of copies of the leaflet – Food Crops of Britain – will be distributed by The Womens Food and Farming Union at events this summer.
Single and bulk copies can be ordered from the food and Farming Education Service (FFES) at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ. Tel 01203 535707, fax 01203 696388.
• DONT follow the herd and drop rape plantings in response to aid cuts and falling prices, warns Bram van der Have of Advanta Seeds.
"A big Canadian crop this year could cut prices and Canadian growers are fickle, solving this years problems with next years crop, so it may pay to go against the trend and take advantage of rising prices next year."
Global demand is strong and will persist even after Agenda 2000 bites, he maintains.
"You should also look at the crops gross margin relative to other crops, not just in absolute terms."
• POTATO workshops for growers and store-keepers are being run by Sutton Bridge Experimental Unit at PGRO Thornaugh, near Peterborough, for pre-pack storage on Aug 11, and for processing storage on Aug 12. Cost £75 + VAT (01406 351444).