Our products

Cereal seed

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Selecting the correct cereal seed to sow each season is an important decision for growers to make, with factors including the rotation, soil type and market all needing to be taken into consideration.

At McCreath Simpson & Prentice, we work closely with businesses at both ends of the supply chain – from the UK’s leading plant breeders to end users, including our malting division Simpsons Malt – to ensure growers are sowing the most profitable crops for their operation.

We supply seed for a range of crops, including malting barley, feed barley, wheat, oilseed rape and oats. The seed is grown on contract with specialist growers, then inspected in-field before being analysed and processed at our own state-of-the-art seed production plant in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

From seed to bottle

For malting barley, we can offer traceability from seed to bottle thanks to our vertically integrated supply chain. 

Following the supply of the malting barley seed and other farm inputs, our grain trading team purchase the barley back on prearranged contracts – many of them long-term. 

Then, with our large haulage operation, we collect the barley post-harvest before delivering it into one of the six grain stores under our ownership throughout the UK.  

After storage, the barley will be delivered into the sites of our malting division Simpsons Malt to produce high-quality malts for the distilling, brewing and food industries. Many of our customers on long-term contracts with us are part of a Growers Group, where we have segregated the malting barley they have grown in storage and production for a specific end user.

Our knowledge

For many years, we have built strong relationships with plant breeders, seed treatment manufacturers and specialist growers to ensure a sustainable production and supply of cereal seed from season to season. 

Members of our team also have active roles in some of the leading seed industry bodies, including the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), the Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain’s (MAGB) Malting Barley Committee and the Scottish Variety Consultative Committee (SVCC). 

This involvement highlights our position at the forefront of developments within the cereal seed industry, with all the latest information passed on to our team of Farm Traders so they can provide the highest standards of service to our customers.

In-field analysis

All seed crops must be officially crop inspected in the field and we have an in-house team of fully qualified seed analysts, who spend much of their time out on-farm. 

At harvest, quality testing is conducted, and the seed is tested again upon arrival at intake. The final step is the certification sample, which is tested in the laboratory for purity and germination. 

We also conduct trials at farms in Northumberland (spring barley) and Berwickshire (winter wheat). This gives us the opportunity to look at current varieties and new varieties coming through on a field scale. 

Regarding the wheat trials, our customers are invited to the site for an annual open evening to view comparisons between varieties and help inform their varietal choices for the upcoming season.

Our processing plant

As a business, we invest heavily in technology and innovation and we’re frequently told our state-of-the-art seed production plant in Berwick-upon-Tweed is one of the best in the country. 

Our dedicated team bag hundreds of tonnes of barley, wheat or oat seed per day during peak times. We are also a major distributor of all leading oilseed rape varieties, which are stocked locally and available for immediate delivery. 

After bagging, the seed is directed into secure, on-site storage ready for delivery. Samples are sent away to all the major seed treatment manufacturers for loading analysis to check that the seed treatment has been applied at the correct rate. 

We have a number of curtain-sided trailers in our own fleet and also work closely with our trusted haulage partners to help facilitate these deliveries to our customers across Scotland and northern England.

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