In an uncertain world, one of things that we can be sure of is that fewer chemicals will be available to growers to tackle the dangers posed by pests and diseases in our cereal crops. At this year’s Croptec, Cope Seeds will be launching a new brand of seed, Excel that guarantees no blackgrass and improved germination and purity.
Currently producers of seed have two standards that they can work to – the EEC Minimum standard or the HVS, Higher Voluntary Standard.  In neither of these standards is there a specific requirement for the seed to be blackgrass free.  Equally both standards have a germination requirement of just 85% where the Excel standard is going to guarantee a minimum germination of 95%.  This means that where the farmer is drilling to a specific seed number per square metre there is much more certainty about the number of seeds that will germinate and, therefore, the number of plants available for establishment.
How can Cope Seeds be so confident in these promises?
Excel seed will be grown by specialist producers who only use clean ground, will be inspected by our own licensed inspectors and will be treated in small seed plants where attention to detail can be assured.  Growers of Excel seed have to pass a rigorous inspection to ensure that they will be able to supply the quality product that is required. 
The launch of any standard like this must show that it is making a real difference and that means that some crops will fail.  Currently we are launching with spring cereal varieties and it is expected that only about 10% of the seed available this spring will reach Excel standard.
For 2017, the spring barley varieties grown under Excel conditions are Evelina and Planet.  Planet tops the recommended list for yield despite it being an approved malting variety.  It has good straw strength and lodging resistance and a good disease package.  Evelina is a semi exclusive variety with good grain and straw yield and excellent disease resistance.
EEC Minimum
HVS Standard
Excel Standard
Minimum germination
Analytical purity
Other cultivated species in 1kg sample
Pieces of ergot in 1kg sample
Guaranteed blackgrass free
*Sample results based on the Official 1kg search
The spring wheat varieties that will be available as Excel are Anabel and the ever popular, Mulika and the Excel spring oat will be Aspen.
Excel seed will be launched at Croptec in Peterborough and more information about this exciting and important development can be obtained from Cope Seeds at the event. Because seed will be limited, early ordering will be needed to guarantee supply.

CropTec 2016

Make sure to visit Cope seeds on stand 151 at this year’s event.

We also have over 140 exhibitors at the event displaying the latest science and technology across the trade stands, while CropTec’s well established seminars and hubs will feature the latest thinking on a range of key arable topics delivered by leading specialists.

The event is free to attend for those visitors that pre-book their tickets. ALL visitors will be charged £15 on the day.