Cereal growers in NI are experiencing delays in deliveries of certified seed for winter planting.

Seed companies indicate that warehouses are running around 70% capacity, so orders placed this week will incur a waiting period of approximately three weeks.

The problem stems from a number of factors including legacy issues from Brexit.

However, a delayed harvest in Britain meant that seed companies took late deliveries of grain for certification.

Seed companies have also encountered staffing shortages, which has further slowed production lines, and distribution networks face lengthy backlogs caused by the shortage of HGV drivers.


Sources within the sector indicate that warehouses have relatively good stocks of the more common seed varieties of winter barley and wheat.

This has cut delivery windows significantly, and the majority of clients now have winter barley established.

The delays mainly affect farmers wanting to trial new and less common varieties, with some oat options in particular, limited in availability.

For farmers planning on sowing winter wheat after potatoes or spring beans, the advice is to order seed early rather than waiting until ground is ready to drill.

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