Scarcity of seed
Many popular varieties of winter barley and winter wheat seed have already been sold out as tillage growers clamour to increase winter crop sowings.
After two years of declining winter crop acreage, the trend looks set to be reversed.
Seed supplies for popular varieties such as Cassia and Saffron have been sold out at wholesale level, according to Donal Fitzgerald of Goldcrop, although there are still supplies of the 2010 newcomer Anisette available.
Supplies of the six-row variety Leibniz, are also scarce.
"There was an early run on certain varieties," explained Mr Fitzgerald.
"There was a greater uptake on those supplies and some people are getting anxious about securing the variety they want."
Supplies of winter wheat seed are also under pressure, with Grafton and JB Diego sold out at wholesale level and Sahara close to being sold out. Alchemy is still available, albeit from a low assembly. Teagasc tillage expert Jim O'Mahony predicted there would be a considerable increase in the acreage of winter crops sown for the 2011 harvest.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we got close to 30,000ha of winter barley for 2011," he said.