Getting organic winter cereal seed onto farm is always a scramble. There are no wholly organic seed cleaning plants so we are competing for space with conventional farmers to get organic seed cleaned. The seed companies have perhaps 10,000 tonnes of conventional seed to process it is often harvested earlier than organic crops and herbicides in conventional seed crops means that cleaning is easier as there is less admix. Seed companies also understand organic farmers generally plant a little later. Combining all this they prioritise the conventional seed -it's their bigger market and it's easier!
We have been asked by several oat growers to get oat seed onto farm in September and so working in partnership with Walnes seeds we have looked at their seed production schedule and have come up with a solution which provides an opportunity to get organic Mascani seed onto farm before the end of September. They start their cleaning regime with winter barley and would then typically move onto winter wheat as this is the largest volume crop they process and once they start on this they won't change species until the wheat is finished. They may process organic wheat as this doesn't need as extensive a cleandown as a purge into the conventional bin is sufficient. As a result the oats get pushed later.
We have twisted their arm and this year they will process some organic Mascani after the winter barley before moving onto wheat. In order to do so we need to have a minimum order of 80 t of oats and once this is processed it will be delivered straight away as there is insufficient storage to hold this and then process the wheat. In order to get the oat seed on farm early you will need to commit and place an order by 30th June 2023.
The seed is £670 per tonne delivered which is an £80 discount on last year's price. To order please use our new online order facility or call the office on 01638 744144 and speak to Kathy.