Why rogue seeds are a growing problem for tillage farmers
At this time of the year we are not only planning for harvest, but thinking about next year's crop.
Every year we keep some home-saved seed and buy in new varieties. This year we have seen a huge difference with some of the old reliables like JB Diego.
It seems to be struggling with both disease resistance and yield. This means we have started looking for replacements.
Usually, the more disease- resistant varieties struggle with yield. It's very difficult to get a variety that ticks all the boxes. It has been an unusual year - rust and mildew have been a problem and this is something we rarely suffer from.
The perfect variety will have good resistance, good yield and good straw.
The advantages of saving our own seed is that it usually works out a good bit cheaper.
You can't do this every year. If seed is re-used too often, it may lose its vigour and not yield as well as it did in previous years.
We get our home-saved seed, cleaned and dressed. This also gives you a choice for dressings to apply. We have found over the last few years that the dressing 'Deter' has helped control aphids and the barley yellow dwarf virus.