A new scheme help growers cut seed costs if their oilseed rape crop fails to establish.
Plant breeder RAGT Seeds says that under its new scheme, growers will only have to pay royalties on the area of oilseed rape that establishes, which could cut up-front seed costs by about 30%.
“Many UK growers have been questioning the viability of growing oilseed rape due to the increased risk of establishing a crop following the loss of neonicotinoid seed treatments and greatly increased flea beetle pressure,” said the firm’s cereal and oilseed rape product manager Tom Dummett.
“In recognition of this, RAGT Seeds has decided to try to mitigate some of the grower risk associated with establishing an oilseed rape crop.
“Working with specific varieties, growers will only be required to pay royalty later in the season based on hectares of established crop.”
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The three varieties eligible for the scheme are RGT Azzurite, RGT Nizza CL and RGT Belizze CL.
“These are RAGT’s most recent varieties, selected for this system for their vigour, to try to help growers stand the best chance of establishing an oilseed rape crop,” said Mr Dummett.
“Growers simply declare the area of oilseed rape established by November 1, on which they will pay royalty.
“Failed areas will be exempt, resulting in welcome savings that farmers can put towards re-establishing a replacement crop.”
As an example of costs, Mr Dummett said a grower would pay £160 for a three-hectare pack of RGT Azzurite followed by a royalty payment of £24 for every hectare established.
The Clearfield varieties will cost about £175/pack, and royalty payments are set at £30/ha.
To be eligible growers must have a signed Royalty Area Collection (RAC) agreement and RAC number, or they must create one online at www.bipo.org.uk/create-new- rac-grower-agreement.