Will boost cover extra cost of seed?
HYBRID barley seed will inevitably cost more than conventional seed, but extra yield will more than offset that, maintains Mr Mills-Thomas.
An independent survey carried out earlier this year suggested that more than 80% of farmers would be ready to pay more for hybrids provided they delivered higher gross margins.
Hybrid wheat varieties cost about £35/ha more than conventional types, he notes.
For barley much will depend on the production system eventually adopted (see panel). "Strip production would add to the cost but it still wont be £35/ha extra."
With grain at £68/t and depending on output, hybrid growers could achieve £68-£88/ha more to cover the extra expense, he says. That is assuming all other inputs are similar. "We think the most important differences wont be in spending as much as in timings." *