Bottlenecks in grass mixtures
In a lot of regions, this year's spring weather only allowed cultivation starting from mid-March. That got the seed business and manufacturers of mixtures in some areas running up against the limits of their production. Marc Möller who is in charge of field seeds in the seed department at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG is sizing up the current situation.
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- The demand for mixtures much more than above-average got off the ground in mid-March.
Mr. Möller, in what products were there bottlenecks this spring?
Möller: The above-average demand for grass mixtures took off in mid-March. The fact that it was exceedingly easy to drive around on the soil brought extremely good production within a couple of days that strained the seed mixers almost to the limits of their capacities in some products. But it was not just the high level of output that sparked much higher production levels in comparison to other years. It was also the wide range of new greening mixtures arising as a result of many different funding programmes.
What role does greening have to play here ?
Möller: They traded in larger quantities of special mixtures to set up priority ecological areas in case of close-downs or strip-cultivation programmes. This is why the initial components of catch-crop mixes that meet greening requirements are already scarce and they are manifesting themselves in prices. Yellow mustard and fodder radish are stable at present and there seems to be enough available. On the other hand, phacelia is extremely scarce and as good as cleared out as normal seeds. In spite of its high seeding costs, this article is very much in demand because of its merits in husbandry. One of the major mixing components is buckwheat; this is why we're expecting it will be sold out in the next couple of days in the wholesale trade because of the healthy demand and and prices are bound to be more firm; by the way, the same also goes for summer and winter vetsches. On the other hand, we see much greater demand for clover species, especially Persian and Alexandrian clover which can also be attributed to using the mix component with catch-crop mixes.
What does that indicate for the development of prices?
Möller: We are expecting prices to be more firm in coming weeks and white clover will also continue to be firm because of the high level of demand from China and the exchange rate from dollars to euros. Another mix component, bristle-oat, is also scarce and expensive. Varieties registered in Germany are cleared out in the wholesale trade from the old harvest. Depending on harvest time, you will have to fall back on the new harvest to be able to cover needs.
Altogether, we are anticipating higher prices and even various mixtures and articles being sold out when needed because of the availability of the mix components mentioned as well as others. In other words, operations should get in contact with the trade in time to cover your special needs.