UK Wheat growers to be spoilt for choice this autumn
Arable farmers will have ample choice when selecting an autumn wheat variety with five new varieties on the Recommended List.
Wynnstay's head of seeds, Toby Reich, shares that the new wheat varieties - KWS Dawsum, Champion, Typhoon, RGT Stokes and Bairstow - are all strong varieties with good agronomic packages, and regional demand.
'The new varieties will complement three exceptional varieties already established in the market; Extase, Graham and Gleam,' he says. 'Despite the high number of wheat varieties to choose from, there's clear differentiation between them. Growers can make informed choices based on their region, rotation, or market they're selling into.
'Champion, the highest yielding variety this year, is best suited to drilling from early October onwards. For more flexible sowing across the UK, I would opt for KWS Dawsum, which has the best combined grain quality and yield,' Mr Reich advises.
'RGT Stokes is the 'true growers' variety',' he adds. 'It provides big tiller numbers and biomass, making it an excellent choice for feed and straw, while it also scores 'good' for distilling quality.'
In the barley market, the new entrants are not so plentiful. Mr Reich notes it is the increased availability of varieties which were in short supply last year, which will be most beneficial to growers.
'KWS Tardis is now a proven option for barley,' he says. 'It grows especially well in the east of the country, is suited to heavy land, and has a robust disease package.
'Elsoms' Bolton complements Tardis as it's strongest on light to medium soils. It's an ideal grain for the feed market and a good option in the west as well as the east.'
He also urges growers to remember the stalwarts of the market, Surge, Hawking and Valerie, which perform well in light to heavier soils.
Finally, Mr Reich notes some new oilseed rape (OSR) varieties to watch. 'PT303 delivered the highest gross output in the trials last year, due to its rapid autumn and spring growth,' he says.
'It has come to people's attention because it's the first hybrid in the UK with a resistance to Sclerotinia, which will be a valuable insurance policy if applications are delayed.'
He explains Crossfit is the other noteworthy OSR new entrant, also due to its disease resistance traits. 'It's the first clubroot resistant variety which also includes turnip yellows virus and pod shatter resistance, so will be of particular interest to growers wanting to protect their investment.'
As with barley, Mr Reich suggests the proven OSR favourites may be of most interest this year. 'I expect LG Aviron to remain the variety of choice for many growers. It's robust and resilient, has exceptional autumn vigour and suites challenging establishment conditions, such as later sowing and cabbage stem flea beetle pressure.
'It's also the only AHDB recommended oilseed variety which scores an eight for light leafspot resistance, which is becoming increasingly difficult for growers to manage,' Mr Reich concludes.
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