Free germination tests are to be offered by Syngenta for over-yeared Syngenta hybrid seed which did not get in the ground last autumn due to poor weather conditions.

Recognising the difficult planting conditions last autumn, it is offering free germination testing of undrilled 2019 seed of its hybrid winter barley varieties that are having to be carried over.

Open to UK growers only and for its hybrid barley seed originally purchased for planting in autumn, 2019, up to two free germination tests per grower will be available, said Syngenta hybrid barley manager, Mark Bullen. Seed must be stored and sampled correctly, though, he added.

“We are not expecting major reductions in germination from over-yeared hybrid barley seed,” said Mr Bullen. “This is just our way of supporting growers after the difficult autumn and providing them with the best information on what rate to drill the seed at this coming autumn.

“Hybrid barley offers many attractions, including high yields in different growing situations and strong suppression of grass weeds. We want growers to continue to benefit from these.

"Having up-to-date percentage seed germination figures is the starting point for getting the best from any crop, for determining the correct seed rate.”

Growers need to register on the Syngenta website before the end of March, 2020, will be sent sample bags and pre-paid envelopes for sending seed to one of several organisations throughout the UK that will be conducting the testing.

Test results will be available prior to final purchasing decisions this year, he pointed out.