Poor weather conditions last harvest caused significant rejection in crops grown for certified seed, resulting in uncertain availability for 2021 spring planting. Spring demand for certified seed is influenced by the level of winter plantings, which were up considerably last autumn thanks to better weather conditions.

There have been concerns about germination levels in all species since harvest but Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA) president, Phil Meaney, told the Irish Farmers Journal that there is likely to be sufficient native certified seed availability for expected requirements.

Spring barley is the big crop and the ISTA believes that there will be sufficient seed to supply feeding barley requirements. Meaney indicated that green intake at harvest seems adequate to supply feeding barley seed demand, but some malting barley seed imports are expected.

Oat seed is also likely to be adequate, but tight, and germination issues could result in seed of individual varieties being tight.

Spring oat seed requirement has been helped by good autumn plantings.

Certified seed of spring wheat will be tight but demand is expected to be low following good winter planting levels.

Meaney also suggested that there may still be winter wheat planted in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.

Bean seed demand is more unpredictable but, again, the ISTA expects that supply will be adequate to cope with a normal demand level. Stem nematode continues to be a concern in bean seed production.

Adequate seed supply will be welcomed by growers who are trying to plan spring planting regimes.