Organic seed availability and performance update
Our current C2 organic cereal seed availability…
C2 Cougar (Only 7.5t left. Yearling seed with 96% germination and high vigour)
C2 Nelson (Only 12.0t left)
C2 KWS Extase
C2 KWS Firefly
C2 KWS Zyatt
C2 RGT Saki
C2 Oberkulmer (Only 6.5t left)
C2 Woldemar (Only 6.0t left)
Please note that with winter beans selling out there will be no options of using conventional seed under a derogation as conventional winter beans have also sold out. One option is that conventional and organic farmers looking to grow winter beans may look at sowing spring beans earlier than usual. However, there is probably insufficient spring bean seed available for a normal organic and conventional requirement. They will be very short in supply, which in turn will make them more expensive. Anyone considering sowing spring beans early as a replacement for winter beans the seed rate will need increasing considerably, by as much as 60 – 75%. This would make this option an expensive one in terms of seed input costs. Our advice to anyone considering growing organic spring beans is to get your name on some seed as soon as you can, as there will not be any surplus conventional seed to fall back on with a derogation.
A similar scenario is also possible with spring oats. Winter oat seed has now already become very tight and in most circumstances, unavailable in both the organic and conventional sector. This will put pressure on spring oat seed supplies. With a combination of a lot of 2nd growth in spring oat crops, screening losses will be higher, yields are lower, and there are already germination issues on a number of harvested seed crops. We can only envisage we will see both spring oat and spring bean seed run out relatively early.
Further to this we have already in the middle of September, had to reject several loads of different varieties of spring barley and spring bean seed, where germination levels are below the minimum level required to certify as seed.
Though there have been some disappointing crop performances we have also received some positive news on the performance of some of the spring barley and spring triticale. We have had some good yields from both our organic and conventional seed crops with one instance of the old favourite Westminster producing a 3.000t per acre yield with one of our regular organic seed growers near Peterborough. He is however on some very good land. We have received some good grain and straw yields from some of our spring triticale growers.
Several growers have mentioned that their spring triticale has been about the only cereal grown on the farm that has produced any real yields of straw. One grower in Norfolk of Puzon triticale didn’t expect much from his crop which had suffered from the extreme weather from the day it was sown but it still managed to achieve 2.0t per acre of grain and a surprising 6.5 x 5ft round bales per acre aswell. Another grower in Wiltshire with Somtri triticale commented that it yielded in the 2,750t – 3,000t per acre bracket but was the only cereal crop from all his winter and spring sowings that produced any real quantity of straw.
With triticale in general having the ability to perform on the more marginal soils and offer a better option than 2nd wheat, it has shown that it can cope better than a lot of other species with the more adverse growing conditions that 2020 has thrown at us. With its high lysine content triticale is an excellent inclusion in poultry rations and in our opinion a much under used commodity in the animal feed sector. With variable and testing climatic conditions appearing to occur more often than the past, making our farmers jobs more and more difficult, perhaps it is time more consideration was given by our feed industry to using more of a crop that deals better than semi dwarf wheat with adverse conditions and provides the grower with a more reliable crop to grow with more consistent grain and straw yield.