Disappointing grain prices and tight cashflows are likely to make farm-saved seed a particular consideration for manycereal growers this autumn; especially so with the best mobile processorsoffering fixed plant production standards coupled with the greatestflexibility.
If they are to avoid compromising next years performance, however, growersneed to do everything they can to ensure the quality of their home-grown seed,insists Agrii national farm-saved seed business manager, Mark Taylor. And heshould know, with his nationwide fleet of 25 modern mobiles processing manytens of thousands of tonnes of farm-saved seed each year.
Grassweed levels are very high in many crops this season, he pointed. At the sametime, yellow rust and Septoria have madetheir presence felt in no uncertain terms, and the threat of fusarium earblight is considerable.
This makes it vital to select and handle grain to be farm-saved with care,clean and treat it appropriately, and test it thoroughly. That way you can besure that what you sow is the best you can produce.
MarkTaylor identifies 10 top tips for farm-saved seed care and attention thisseason:
Usecrops grown from certified seed of the highest possible quality preferably toMaster Seeds standards;
Select fields orareas of fields with minimal grass weed populations and where ear diseasecontrol, in particular, has been first class;
Clean combines andtrailers carefully before harvesting to minimise contamination;
Avoid all cropstreated with glyphosate pre-harvest;
Harvest at 16%moisture or below;
Measure 1000 grainweights at the point of processing for the greatest accuracy;
Have the seedlaboratory-tested for viability and vigour as well as germination, whereverpossible;
Select the mostappropriate seed treatments for the variety and seed status as part ofessential T(-1) discussions with your agronomist, involving drilling dates,seed rates and black-grass management as well as disease and pest control.
Insist onprofessional processing geared to the specific needs of each seed lot and checkthe quality before accepting it; and,
Ensureyour processor retains all samples as grown & treated for the entire cropyear for complete traceability.
Ofcourse, youll need to be paying BSPB royalties wherever applicable, adds MarkTaylor. The easiest way is to do so is via your processor, ensuring it isrecorded on your invoice.
With demand likely to be higher than normal this season, it will be especiallyimportant to book your processing in good time too. This will ensure you have the right seed inthe right condition and place to take advantage of the best drilling conditions.