Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Full recommendation for ‘breakthrough’ varieties

January 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Crops

Two breakthrough varieties from breeder RAGT Seeds are included on the AHDB Recommended Lists for 2020/21.

Winter wheat RGT Saki and oilseed rape RGT Nizza reinforce the Essex-based company’s aim of offering arable growers high-yielding, robust varieties which serve their agronomic and marketing requirements.

Another winter wheat variety – RGT Lantern – is entering a further year of recommended list trials. But like the two fully recommended varieties, it will be commercially available to growers for drilling in autumn 2020.

RGT Saki is a group 4 variety that delivers an outstanding combination of exceptional yield potential backed up by some of the most robust genetics yet seen in a winter wheat, says RAGT cereal and oilseed rape product manager Tom Dummett.

Elusive combination

“Untreated yield is the best indication we have of how durable a variety is, but to be a commercial success the variety also needs a very high treated yield,” he says. “This combination has proved elusive until now.”

RGT Saki delivered 104% of control in fungicide-treated trials and 114% in untreated trials, says Mr Dummett. Furthermore, he adds, RAGT is confident that farmers will be able to grow the variety anywhere.

“Those with restricted sprayer capacity or farming blocks of land over a wide area often have to balance barn-filling varieties that require high levels of well-timed inputs with lower-yielding, more robust varieties that can tolerate wider spray windows. RGT Saki removes that dilemma.”

RGT Saki has has a very good Septoria tritici score and exceptional rust resistances, says Mr Dummett. It is also resistant to orange wheat blossom midge and exhibits good straw strength and relatively short growth habit.

The variety suits the main drilling window. It has good grain quality and is a potential distilling variety, says Mr Dummett.

Narrowing gap

RGT Nizza, which has been recommended for the east and west region, delivered the highest treated gross output for a Clearfield oilseed rape variety in this year’s Recommended List trials, further narrowing the yield gap between Clearfield and mainstream varieties.

Mr Dummett says the result confirm the promise the variety has shown over several years of official and independent trials. “RGT Nizza is our first Clearfield offer up for recommendation and has consistently produced exceptional yields for this type.”

The variety is rated at 6.6 for autumn vigour – with even better spring vigour. “The yield penalty associated with Clearfield varieties is diminishing, making the Clearfield system more attractive to growers who should be using it but have been reluctant to give it a try.”

RGT Nizza is short and stiff stemmed, scoring 8 for resistance to lodging. Coupled with a good fungicide programme, it will help growers plagued by charlock and other problem cruciferous weeds to continue growing very profitable crops of oilseed rape, says Mr Dummett.

“It also helps to lower erucic acid levels by reducing volunteer rape and cruciferous weed seed contamination. And growers don’t need to use pre-em on Clearfield varieties, helping to reduce up-front spend on the crop.”

Further reducing risk, RGT Nizza is available through the Royalty Area Collection scheme, whereby growers only have to pay royalties on the area of oilseed rape that establishes.

Candidate variety

RL candidate variety RGT Lantern brings barn-filling output, good all-round disease scores, midge resistance and stiff straw to the hard Group 4 sector. It has short, stiff straw similar to RGT Skyfall, delivering excellent lodging resistance.

Mr Dummett believes RGT Lantern is set to be a popular first wheat choice. With Relay as one of its parents, it will be one of the best second wheats available to UK farmers from autumn 2020, he continues.

“RGT Lantern has proved to be a consistent performer in official and independent trials across some very different seasons.”

With a score of 104, RGT Lantern was the highest yielding second wheat in recommended list trials. It is slower developing than RGT Gravity, so can be drilled earlier. Being more like Relay in its growth habit, it is said to be easy to manage – even on more fertile soils.

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