Farmers: let suppliers know desired varieties in good time
Sowing conditions in the autumn of 2015 were optimal for all winter cereals and for oilseed rape; this will lead to an almost equal acreage of winter cereals for the 2016 harvest. Marc Möller, deputy head of the Seed department at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, explains what’s now important for farmers in the new year.
- Bildmaterial zum Content
Winter cereal sowing has finished. What’s next?
Möller: Next, farmers will be sowing summer cereals. In the past, the seed propagation area was increasingly adjusted to the amount of sales in an average year in order to cut back overproduction and the concomitant price risks. The present point of view is that there will be sufficient seeds of all species available on the market to cater for normal business.
Due to the smaller scale of propagation we are now seeing more frequent shortages of certain varieties in German production, for example the barley variety “Planet”, meaning that imported seeds have to be traded for the first time. As in the past few years, we are anticipating shortages of the niche products triticale and spring rye, as these products cannot be propagated everywhere in Germany due to the competitive situation with regard to other food crops.
Barley and oats will be in plentiful supply, as we see it at the moment. There might be some supply bottlenecks with black oats but that’s all. The level of supply for wheat will only be decided in the next two to three weeks, as demand from other countries in Europe has not yet materialised.
What will be the effect of the second season of greening?
Möller: Last year, late decisions concerning subsidy schemes and late purchase decisions made it very difficult for producers to ascertain what the level of demand would be at sowing time. It was not possible to meet everyone’s requirements due to the wide range of varieties. The situation is similar for the 2016 season, as it is not possible to increase or decrease the area for each variety in response to demand.
The level of demand has led to an increase in prices for many varieties, such as clover and oilseed radish, where a significant increase in sales can be seen. For the coming sowing we recommend that farmers discuss their needs in good time with their local retail partner to ensure the products they want are in stock when required.
2015 saw an increase in demand for cash crops as a result of the rules on greening, and also for coarse legumes. As things stand today, producers are out of stock for newer varieties of pea, e.g. Astronaute. Overall, the market will be supplied using other production companies from abroad, as long as there is no unexpected surge in demand.
The situation is rather different with broad beans. Despite an increase in the cultivation area the product has moved better than expected. Sweet lupin is available in the usual quantities.
What should farmers be looking out for at the moment?
Möller: The advice to the consumer in all cases is to state the varieties they want in good time so that the goods can be available in the desired quantity when required. We advise them to get in touch with their local supplier as soon as they can to talk about their requirements.