Thursday, November 14, 2019

Range of excellent cereal choices available for autumn drilling

September 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

Growers have an excellent choice of wheat and barley varieties for planting this autumn – but five varieties stand out for Russell Frost, UK seeds manager for COFCO International.

Farmers should look beyond the headline figures, he says – especially when it comes to yield. “It’s not just about yield anymore,” says Mr Frost. “With less chemistry available now and likely in the future, agronomic functionality is increasingly important.”

While Group 4 variety LG Skyscraper is the highest yielding winter wheat available on the 2019/20 AHDB Recommended List, it also offers a combination of strong agronomic characters showing good resistance for both yellow rust and Septoria Tritici.

Maximise returns

The additional end-use market of distilling and excellent grain quality also gives growers the opportunity to maximise their returns on-farm, he says.

“LG Skyscraper has consistently delivered very high yields over differing seasons, regions, soil types, rotation and drilling dates, offering growers great flexibility in their cropping and drilling options.

“The variety also offers the additional benefits of Orange Wheat Blossom Midge resistance and early maturity – important traits that are increasingly valued by growers.”

His second choice is KWS Firefly, pointing it out as a great new addition to the RL and the UK’s highest yielding Group 3 milling wheat with broad market appeal.

“KWS Firefly is suited to all regions of the UK but performs best in the main wheat production areas. It is a consistent performer across light and heavy soils, as well as first and second cereal slots.

Impressive scores

“The variety has one of the most impressive set of disease scores of any high-yielding variety. Its Septoria tritici score is the best in its class, while it also has a better untreated yield and Hagberg than others in the Group 3 market.

“With a strong grain package and the right balance of resistance and extensibility, KWS Firefly is well suited for biscuit manufacturers. The variety is also fully approved for export.”

In third spot is KWS Kinetic, the highest yielding Group 4 candidate which has given a 3% yield advantage over the control variety KWS Santiago duuring the last two years, Mr Frost points out.

“This, coupled with a high untreated yield and a number of important characteristics, makes KWS Kinetic a very exciting new variety for farmers.

“It has a good disease package, including 6s across the board, and has the added benefit of Orange Wheat Blossom Midge resistance.

“It’s a variety that also stands well in the field due to its very stiff straw. With an outstanding specific weight of 78.8 kg/hl and the right balance of protein and Hagberg Falling Number, KWS Kinetic is able to fulfil the high volume feed market requirements successfully.”

Winter barley

The fourth and fifth places are taken by two new high yielding Hyvido winter barley varieties from Syngenta.

“Hyvido varieties offer  growers a greater return on their investment, as well as many other advantages, including higher specific weights, grass weed suppression and higher yields in following crops of oilseed rape.

“Specific weights of Hyvido varieties have been increasing in recent years and SY Kingsbarn, with a specific weight of 69.9 kg/hl and a yield of 108% of controls across the UK, is a great choice for growers looking for yield, but also excellent grain quality.”

Belmont is the highest yielding Hyvido variety on the current RL at 109% of controls and offers growers good grain quality and sound all-round agronomics, says Mr Frost.

“The unique plant architecture of all the Hyvido varieties makes them excellent choices for growers needing to suppress grassweeds as the crop can compete both above and below the ground with a greater rooting system and strong hybrid vigour.”

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