High yield coupled with agronomic characteristics that are set to make them practical to grow. These are core benefits shared by all five of the new Syngenta winter cereal varieties being added to the AHDB Recommended Lists for 2018, says the breeder’s seed manager, Samantha Brooke.
New Gleam winter feed wheat
“The first thing you notice about our new hard Group 4 winter feed wheat, Gleam, is that it is very high-yielding. But importantly, it has also delivered its yield consistently across different seasons, in different regions, and in first and second cereal positions,” says Mrs Brooke. “Stable yields are useful with volatile grain prices.
“What’s also significant is that Gleam can be drilled over a wide window, from about the middle of September onwards.
“In our trials, Gleam shows it produces a lot of tillers and it has held on to those tillers well. So its yield comes from producing a good number of smaller ears, rather than a few, heavy ones. But its ears contain good-sized grains with a good specific weight.”
Also from a practical viewpoint, Mrs Brooke says Gleam is early-maturing and has very good straw strength, and arrives with good resistance to Septoria tritici and yellow rust, plus orange wheat blossom midge resistance. It continues Syngenta’s expansion into winter wheat, following recent introductions of Shabras and Graham, she notes.
New hybrid feed barleys
Adding to Syngenta’s high-yielding hybrid winter feed barleys on the AHDB Recommended List, new hybrids Hyvido Belmont and Hyvido Libra are set to occupy slightly different market positions to each other, Samantha Brooke believes.
“Hyvido Belmont is a bit like the current hybrid, Hyvido Bazooka, in that it offers growers outstandingly high yield,” says Mrs Brooke.
“It also has no major weaknesses to the more difficult barley diseases, and it has produced a good specific weight. But for farms where an even higher specific weight is important, then Hyvido Libra could be more appropriate.
“Libra is slightly lower-yielding than Belmont but is the best quality hybrid barley, in terms of specific weight, that we’ve ever bred.”
New winter malting barleys
The two new high-yielding winter malting varieties, Electrum and Coref, being added to the 2018 AHDB Recommended List continue Syngenta’s heritage in malting barley breeding, says Samantha Brooke. Both are also early-maturing, she notes.
“Of the two, Electrum is likely to come to the market sooner than Coref because there will be more Electrum seed available,” explains Mrs Brooke.
“A year or two down the line, Electrum could be a good partner in the marketplace alongside Craft, which is also an up-and-coming variety, because end users like to have more than one variety to choose from, in order to spread risk.”