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Oat seed soars to €630/t

Imported English oat seed could cost farmers up to €630/t as merchants struggle to find enough suitable stocks to replace the frostbitten winter oat crop.

A major scarcity of native oat seed has seed suppliers frantically searching for supplies of comparable quality in England.

However, transport costs and the euro/sterling rate mean that prices are likely to be in the range €580-630/t for any seed that is imported.

Brett Bros agronomist Tony Nugent said the company had no stocks of oat seed available and was trying to source suitable varieties in England.

Seed for approximately 1,000ac is needed to replace crops destroyed by the harsh winter frost.

"Prices will be either side of €600/t," he maintained. "Possibly €20-30 over €600/t, depending on transport costs because oat seed has volume but not weight so you get less per trailer-load."

Seed Technology Ltd in Waterford has less than 100t of seed in stock. It consists of a small amount of Husky variety but the majority is of Galaxy variety.

"Imported seed will cost €60-100/t more than native seed," said Mr Carter. "Native would retail at €500-520/t delivered so imported will be close to €580-600/t."

Meanwhile, frost damage to oat crops is now feared to have affected crops in parts of Wicklow, north Cork and parts of Dublin. It was originally thought that the worst losses were confined to south Tipperary.

Indo Farming