Spring seed considerations – South East Farmer – David Bouch
David Bouch, Hutchinsons National Seeds Manager, provides his thoughts on spring 2021 and recommendations for spring seed varieties ...
We approach a spring likely to be vastly different to that of 2020. A large proportion of the farming community had never experienced such a cropping year (and hopefully never will again), where there was a very sizeable amount of spring cropping entered into the ground in a delayed drilling season.
This has subsequently been followed by a projected wheat area this autumn at circa 1.8 million hectares, coupled with another significant fall in winter oilseed rape and a shortfall despite a derogation in winter bean supply. We now have to look ahead and assess the prospects and challenges for spring 2021 accordingly.
Spring barley will again be in demand, albeit with a fall back to the more ‘normal’ hectarage of the previous two years. However, the supposition that there will be a plentiful supply of seed may well be based on a slightly false pretence. It is certainly becoming apparent that although there was a very large crop planted and harvested, the quality of some of those crops is beginning to present a problem, with germinations looking poor and therefore availability perhaps not the given that was perceived.
David Bouch, National Seeds Manager
RGT Planet, Laureate and LG Diablo (now fully approved for both malting and distilling) will be the main three varieties in terms of market shore, with newly recommended Tungsten, SY Splendor (under test) and Cosmopolitan (provisional recommendation) also competing within the sector. Barley still offers the best competition for blackgrass and therefore offers both an end market as well as agronomic benefit. These barleys also offer high yield and can hold their own against out-and-out feed varieties such as Fairway and Prospect.
Spring wheat will also have a more traditional uptake but invariably sells out, and certainly varieties such as KWS Chilham, KWS Cochise and KWS Giraffe (very little available 2021) will be popular alongside Mulika as the only group one, and Hexham may also see some uptake on the back of limited volumes this spring.
Spring oats will definitely be in tight supply, with Canyon still being the millers’ preference but now seeing yield competition from WP8 Isabel, Delfin and Elison.
Spring pulses will be sought after, with beans being in demand after a shortfall in winter bean supply and a large reduction in winter oilseed rape. Lynx will likely be the number one variety by area for spring 2021, with interest in LG Raptor and Ghengis likely to increase, depending upon availability. Peas will be in all likelihood also see an increase in demand and advice should be sought as to the preferred end markets before final varietal choice is decided upon. I would strongly advise that any pulse requirements are attended to at an early juncture to avoid disappointment.
Finally, there will again be a resurgence in spring oilseeds to give a rotational balance where required. We certainly saw greater volumes of linseed and spring oilseed rape in 2020 and these patters may well be followed again next year.
Our comprehensive portfolio of both technically and commercially viable varieties for autumn 2020 and beyond.
Includes seed rate charts and variety notes on oilseed rape, wheat, winter barley, rye, triticale, winter oat and winter bean.