Seed supplies tight this autumn

9 July 2001

Seed supplies tight this autumn

By Tom Allen-Stevens

SEED breeders have warned that supplies of certain cereal varieties may
not meet demand this autumn, but growers have been slow to order.

Most at risk from running out are some of the new varieties in their
first commercial year and some of those that are drilled late.

“The one were most concerned about is Tanker,” Bob Miles from Elsoms

This hard feed wheat has received good reviews as the highest yielder on
the NIAB Recommended List which details the best performing varieties.

John Howie, of PBIC Seeds, conducted market research to gauge uptake of
Option, a new high yield winter wheat with bread-making potential.

“We reckon the demand for Option is probably around 17,000 tonnes, but we
only have enough to supply around 13,000 tonnes,” he said.

Another variety that could run short is late-drilled wheat Charger, he
said – the seed crops were established in poor conditions so yields are
likely to be low.

Despite this, early orders have been slow to come through from growers.

Advance orders to Nickerson UK, breeders of the most popular wheat
variety Claire, have been “absolutely terrible” said marketing manager Frank

“If they leave their order too late, some growers will find they are
unable to get the variety they want or will have to pay a premium.”

Mr Howie said growers are reluctant to order due to a combination of

“Many were stung by being unable to drill the seed theyd ordered last
year, so are reluctant to make advance orders.

“It has also been an extended growing season – some growers are still
putting the finishing touches to their current wheat crop and have not begun
to think about next years.”

Other varieties tipped to be hard to find are Advantas new bread-maker
Xi-19 and Nickersons high-yielding group three Deben.

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