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      AberMagic seed crop in its second year, 1 week away from harvest at M and R Morton, Hinton Ampner, Hampshire.

      Why consider growing herbage seed?

      Why consider it now?

      • Review of cropping options essential due to changes to agricultural support regimes.
      • Strong and increasing demand for high quality British-bred Aber varieties.
      • Competitive margins when compared with other crops, including wheat and oilseed rape.
      • Provides alternative grass weed control options

      Key benefits

      • £1000 - £1500/ha gross margins are achievable.
      • Excellent break crop from cereals and oilseed rape.
      • Additional income from grazing, silage or hay.
      • Potential for two years of seed production per crop.
      • Expert advice provided free to growers by Germinal GB.
      • Boosts soil organic matter levels by as much as 50 tonnes/ha due to breakdown of roots and other material.
      • Extending rotation improves yields of following crops and allows seed production opportunities for Cereals.

      Growing herbage seed

      The System

      • Select fields that have not grown grass for at least four years and where grass weeds (e.g. couch, blackgrass) are not a significant problem.
      • Observe specific isolation requirements from other ryegrass crops.
      • Sow in the autumn for first harvest the following summer, or undersow in the spring for first harvest in summer of the following year.
      • Exploit forage income potential from sheep grazing in first winter, sheep/cattle grazing after first harvest, silage cut in first spring (hybrid ryegrasses only).
      • Apply fertiliser and sprays as recommended for the crop.
      • Direct combine, swath and pick up, or use a stripper header to harvest.
      • Bale hay aftermath for home use or sale.
      • Dry the crop using on-floor drying to a maximum moisture content of 14%. Avoid applying heat directly to the seed.
      • Store the crop in cool and dry conditions until collection in bulk.
      • All cleaning and certification carried out by Germinal GB.

      Red clover coming into flower. M and R Morton, Hinton Ampner, Hampshire.

      Financial details

      Annual Variable Costs

      • Variable costs are dependent on variety, seed, fertiliser and chemical usage, but are typically in the region of £500/ha (at current prices) for a first-year crop, considerably less for the second year, including inspection and certification charges.

      Annual Income

      • £1500 plus per ha is achievable
      • Grazing income: up to £60/ha
      • Hay/silage income: up to £150/ha, depending on the season.
      • Opportunities to grow early generation crops for multiplication, with an enhanced final price.

      Payment Structure

      • AberHSG varieties command a premium over other Herbage seed crops
      • All crops are grown under contract to Germinal GB.
      • Payments to the grower are structured as follows:
        • 40% November.
        • 40% March.
        • Final 20% June.
      • A proportion of Cleaning and Certification charges are charged back to the grower, the rate is determined by purity of seed at intake.

      For further information, please contact:

      John Fairey
      Seed Production Manager

      Mob: 07747 784234
      Office: 01522 868714