AWB Limited and the Victorian Farmers Federation have joined forces to assist Victorian wheat growers with seed for next year’s crop.
AWB’s Managing Director Andrew Lindberg said in response to the current drought in parts of Victoria, AWB and the VFF have developed a scheme that will provide growers lower cost access to bulk quantities of Yitpi wheat seed
"Dry conditions this season may restrict some farmers’ access to seed for next year, and as a response we have come up with a one-off scheme to bolster seeds stocks, and make it available to growers with some cost relief," Mr Lindberg said.
Yitpi is an AWB Seeds registered wheat variety released three years ago, which is now grown widely in Victoria. Yitpi is classified as an AH variety.
VFF’s Grain Group President, Ron Hards, said the Federation is establishing a database to match sellers and buyers and would be the main contact point for enquiries and registrations by interested growers.
"Victorian growers who need Yitpi seed for next year should register with us," Mr Hards said.
"This system has been developed only for this season to help farmers ride-out the drought and will eliminate the potential illegal practice of grower to grower sale of varieties under PBR," Mr Hards said.
As part of the scheme, AWB Seeds and the VFF are in the process of identifying potential seed sources. AWB Seeds will then undertake a thorough hygiene and quality assurance check to ensure the seed meets quality parameters.
If approved, AWB Seeds will then quality assure the crop and, once harvested, the seed will be made available to growers in either a processed, or unprocessed form through a coordinated collection program.
"AWB Seeds will retain strict but simple protocols though the process, which will mean growers have access to a seed source in a manner that does not compromise plant breeders rights, or quality assurance," Mr Lindberg said.
"While we have yet to finalise potential seed costs due to volatility with grain prices, we are expecting to offer processed seed to growers for approximately $425 per tonne, and unprocessed seed for approximately $345/t, which does provide some cost relief.
"Where possible, we encourage growers to use the processed seed option, in order to ensure a cleaner, and higher quality seed sample for planting next year," Mr Lindberg said.
AWB Seeds also has standard, quality assured high generation seed for sale at normal prices. To ensure the integrity of the Yitpi crop into the future, growers who have not previously grown Yitpi, would have to purchase at least one tonne of high generation Yitpi seed in 2003 (for bulking up) for the following wheat planting in 2004, to participate in the scheme. Other participating growers are also encouraged to buy sufficient high generation QA seed to bulk up for following year plantings.
A register has been established at the VFF to allow growers to advise if they require Yitpi seed for next season.
For retail or distribution information, contact AWB Seeds on 0417 891 436.