Order seed now for best yield
MAIZE growers holding off buying maize seed in anticipation of lower prices should order now to secure preferred varieties and to ensure that drilling is on time, or risk compromising yield.
So warns agronomist, Simon Pope, who says delaying decisions could leave growers with little time to prepare seed-beds. Late drilling and subsequent poor emergence, especially in dry weather, could hit yields severely.
Industry sources suggest some growers are holding out in anticipation of lower seed prices. John Hardy of Suffolk-based Grainseed says growers should not expect more cuts, as the market is already eroded.
"Prices are down about £5 a pack on last years prices. Late buying will only place more pressure on supplies," adds Mr Hardy. Buying patterns have changed significantly, says Nigel Jones, of Glos-based Huntseeds. "There has been a 50% cut in the number of buyers who traditionally order early, putting more pressure on suppliers."
Mr Jones blames the economic climate and value of sterling for the change in buying patterns.
But Dr Pope says some larger growers with surplus clamped maize will cut area grown and be buying less seed anyway. Overall he expects to see acreage down by about 5%. *
• Seed orders delayed.
• Total area down by 5%.
• Surplus clamped maize.