CYO Seeds (Midlands) Ltd
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F: (01858) 880553


With inflated input cost, some farmers may well look to grab their wheat/barley seed out of the shed.Is it really worth the risk and what are the perceived savings?

Let’s consider the advantages of barn dipping:-

1. You think it saves you money (any royalty payable will still be due to the BSPB or others!)

Let’s consider the disadvantages of barn dipping:-

1. If you don’t have it processed then you’ll be planting any harvested weed seeds as well. These weeds will then compete against your precious seed for moisture, light and nutrients. On the flip side, some of these weeds may well be there because they couldn’t be controlled by spraying so you’ll be contaminating more of your fields!

2. You won't be getting any of the benefits from using a seed dressing or applying a micro nutrient. Seed dressings control seed borne and soil borne diseases , non of which can be cotrolled by spraying after planting. Micro-nutrients have major benefits to the physiology of the seedling and plant.

3. Grading/gravity selecting the seed will give you the biggest boldest and most viable seeds. Otherwise you’ll be planting variable sized seed and some shrivelled seed (which often harbour diseases) alongside one another, resulting in patchy establishment, inconsistent crops and again, reduced yield.

4. If it’s a second wheat situation you’ll have no Take All control, resulting in major loss of yield.

5. Even seed testing doesn’t allow for the yield and quality grabbing soil borne diseases which can reduce yields significantly if the seed isn’t protected by a seed dressing.

6. False tramlines caused by blocked coulters result indirect yield loss and of course you’ll be the butt of many jokes!

Barn dipped seed related yield losses can easily add up to 25%+ of the potential crop. If for example you consider a very small loss of 100kg/ac (250kg/ha) (for easy working out) it relates to a lot of money lost. So, when you’re merrily combining your field of wheat, getting an average yield of say 2.9t/ac (7.25t/ha) instead of 3.0t/ac (7.5t/ha), would you even notice or consider that the 100kg/ac (250kg/ha) loss was probably due to the barn dipped seed? Over 10ac (4ha), that’s a ton you’ve lost!! That’s only looking at a very small loss in yield - it could easily be much worse!! Following on from the example above, barn dipping in the current climate can’t be worth it when you’re almost guaranteed to lose a minimum of £25/ac (100kg/ac) or £62.50/ha (250kg/ha) trying to save yourself on average £8/ac or £20/ha on processing and dressing costs. Especially with commodity prices as high as they are at the moment even a small loss, that you didn’t even know you’d lost, makes a significant difference to total farm profit.

Barn Dipping losses are often compounded by the farmer buying “new!” certified seed the following year because they're fundamentally disappointed with the performance their farm saved seed!!If it wasn’t for the barn dipped seed and that precious seed had been processed and dressed, it would’ve probably been fine.


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