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Organic Seed Update

Yields from our autumn seed crops have been a mixed bag with considerable differences, as expected, between those crops sown in October / November against those that were put in late e.g. Late January / February.

The age old problem of losing a high percentage of seed crops through being unable to sow in the bad autumn conditions, low yields from late sowing plus admixtures and excessive weed contamination has again reared its ugly head.

From initially having 120 acres of Organic C2 Winter Barley under production we have lost all of our production. MATROS was our chosen variety but through a mixture of 84 acres not getting drilled and the 36 acres which did being contaminated with volunteer wheat, we have ended up with no Organic C2 Winter Barley to offer. For those that need to drill barley we do have Untreated Conventional C2 Matros Barley available to offer subject to you be able to obtain derogations.

Triticale is probably the most difficult crop to produce seed from. It invariably has problems attaining the minimum germination levels required to meet seed certification. Last spring was a case in point where we had 6 seed crops of Somtri Triticale which all failed to meet the minimum 80% germination requirements. For this autumn we planted 109 acres of SEQUENZ and 70 acres of AGOSTINO Triticale for Organic seed production. Already, we have had to reject the 70 acres of AGOSTINO leaving us with just the SEQUENZ which currently remains un-harvested. Lets hope for better success with SEQUENZ.

We have had about 50% of our organic winter wheat crops harvested so far and yields. The variety of the year so far has been our NEW Introduction to the Organic Market NELSON. Seed grower, P.N. Watts of Vine House Farm, Deeping St.Nicholas, Spalding harvested 180 tonnes from 50 acres. A phenomenal 3.600 tonnes per acre (8.900 tonnes per hectare). We very much doubt we will see any better results than this from the following 50% of seed crops we are waiting to be harvested. We have two other seed crops ofNELSON and therefore a good seed supply of C2 seed. Nelson has the best winter hardiness we have seen in a winter wheat, superb all round disease resistance, stands all day and an extremely noticeable flag leaf width. With undoubted high yield potential andEARLY maturity, we would certainly suggest that Nelson is a variety that any organic winter wheat grower should be trying. The yield potential alone makes it an attractive variety but there are premium opportunities possible where you have good hagberg and protein as Nelson is a high quality bread-making wheat also.

We are already sold out of some of our other varieties such as C2 Cougar, Invicta, Horatio but we still have stocks of:

C2 Claire
C2 Crusoe
C2 JB Diego
C2 Relay
C2 Tuxedo

We already have C2 Organic JB Diego packed and ready to dispatch and currently we have C2 Nelson on the processing plant also available for delivery. Our plans are to follow the Nelson cleaning with Relay next week.

Winter Oats will again be a popular crop and as in most recent years there will be a shortage of C2 Organic Seed. We have C2 Organic Mascani available. We feel that once the organic seed has sold out there will be little or no chance of any derogations being granted to use Untreated Conventional Seed as already there is pressure on seed supply of conventional oat seed. As such, there will be no conventional oat seed surplus to supply under derogation. As no other countries in Europe grow Winter Oats we are unable to import any seed either. If we find Organic Oat seed has run out, we suggest that where oats are wanted to be sown and you cant wait until the spring, consider sowing spring oats from the end of October onwards. It is a common practise in Ireland / Eire where they sow spring oats in the autumn. We ourselves, have entered spring varieties into Autumn sown trials under Coded Numbers and they have performed similarly to the Winter oats. After all, there has been a longstanding view that there is no such thing as a Winter Oat. They are all derivatives of spring oat crosses which have proven to handle the winter and subsequently called winter oats and as years have passed new varieties bred from these lines being classified as Winter Oats.

If you have any suitable land available that could grow C1 for C2 seed for us we are offering very attractive terms. We have most of our requirements placed but we are still looking for extra areas of…..
C1 for C2 MATROS Winter Barley
C1 for C2 COUGAR, CRUSOE and REVELATION Winter Wheat
C1 for C2 SECURO Winter Triticale *New Variety
Please give Gemma a call on 01529 421081 if you have any land available.
We will give you a further update in a week or so how the season and seed availability is progressing.
Kind Regards,