The future is bright for the Limagrain wheat breeding programme

Limagrain has 7 out of the total 11 wheat varieties up for recommendation to join the 2019-20 AHDB Recommended List, spread across almost every quality sector.

The breeder is particularly excited about its soft feed variety LG Skyscraper which is the highest yielding wheat candidate at 109% and will potentially be the overall highest yielding wheat variety, should it gain full recommendation to the 2019-20 List.

LG Skyscraper’s very high yield at 109% over control shows a significant 4% increase over the control feed variety KWS Santiago in treated trials and demonstrates that the variety is capable of competing with many of the high yielding feed varieties that have been added to the AHDB RL in the last couple of seasons,says Ed Flatman, Limagrain’s senior wheat breeder.

“LG Skyscraper offers a very high yielding soft wheat with good agronomic characters that competes with the high yielding hard feed wheat sector which has been the dominant sector for the last 10 years.”

“What is also exciting and really valuable on-farm, is that this yield potential has been consistent across both seasons and regions,” he says.

LG Skyscraper has a pedigree of (Cassius x NAWW29) x KWS Santiago, and it is this balance of genetics that brings excellent disease resistance to the variety; LG Skyscraper has good resistance ratings for mildew (7), yellow rust (8), brown rust (6) and for Septoria tritici (6).

LG Skyscraper also has Orange Wheat Blossom Midge Resistance (OWBM) which is an important trait that is of increasing value in wheat varieties due to restrictions on insecticide products, says Mr Flatman.

“Currently less than half of the UK wheat crop carries resistance to OWBM. It’s important that the threat to wheat yields from OWBM is not neglected as we have already seen some pretty high midge numbers this spring-  so it doesn’t make sense to grow a susceptible variety.”

This combination of disease resistance offers a variety with improved ratings over many of the feed varieties commercially in the market at present – which is also reflected in LG Skyscraper’s excellent untreated yield performance of 77% of control, way up on that of JB Diego at 61%.

Agronomically LG Skyscraper shows itself to be a robust and flexible variety. Limagrain data suggests that the variety is not as tall as the official figures indicate.

“2017 lodging data should be viewed with caution as it was an erratic season with regards to plant growth, and a difficult season for targeted agronomic programmes,” says Ron Granger, arable technical manager at Limagrain.

The variety offers a similar maturity to JB Diego and KWS Santiago, but obviously with the bonus of higher yields. When considering maturity versus yield, one is often compromised at the expense of the other Mr Granger explains.

“To date it has not been easy to find an early maturing, high yielding wheat variety. However, LG Skyscraper bucks the trend offering both.”

“Our data shows the variety to be high tillering with a semi-prostate winter growth habit, and quicker plant development in the spring – similar to Evolution. It is early maturing –the same as JB Diego and Skyfall.”

“What this translates into in the field is that LG Skyscraper is suitable for drilling from the third week of September onwards and also offers a later drilling opportunity in regards to the blackgrass control scenario,” he says.

Limagrain data suggests that LG Skyscraper performs well as a second wheat, (3-year data set) and this is an area in which we will continue to generate more information.

Quality attributes

Mr Flatman points out that LG Skyscraper has excellent grain quality; the variety has a Hagberg Falling Number (HFN) of 216 and specific weight of 77.7, in comparison to the hard feed wheat KWS Santiago, with a HFN of 188 and specific weight of 76.3.

“Once again LG Skyscraper bucks the trend – by having a good specific weight and high yields- not often seen.”

“After two years of official testing, based on these excellent quality attributes, LG Skyscraper has been rated as a positive for distilling, making it an attractive proposition for growers in the north.”

So, to summarise, for those growers who are looking to grow a Group 4 and maximise their return on investment, they would have to go far to find a better variety than LG Skyscraper, with its very high yields, grain quality attributes and agronomic merits.

 

LG Candidate Varieties for Recommended List 2019-20

Variety Group Key features
LG Detroit Potential Bread 2 LG Detroit is a very high yielding, hard Group 2 wheat, that potentially meets specification for UKP bread wheat for overseas markets.

The variety has a good disease resistance package, combined with stiff straw and excellent grain quality. Importantly, LG Detroit is resistant to orange wheat blossom midge.

LG Rhythm Potential

Biscuit 3

LG Rhythm is a high yielding, soft biscuit wheat, that is also positive for both distilling and uks export, thus meeting the requirements of many end markets. The variety has good straw characteristics combined with a good disease resistance profile, it carries resistance to WOBM and performs well in the north.
LG Spotlight 4 (soft) LG Spotlight is a very high yielding, soft feed wheat, offering growers a strong agronomic package of good disease resistance, stiff straw, excellent grain quality and OWBM resistance. The variety has a very good specific weight; comparable to the

best varieties on the AHDB Recommended List. LG Spotlight also has a very high Hagberg Falling Number; an unusual but positive characteristic for a soft feed wheat.

LG Interstellar 4 (soft) LG Interstellar is a very high yielding, soft feed winter wheat, with official testing suggesting that the variety also meets the specifications for the distilling market. The variety has a good disease resistance profile, combined with good agronomic features such as Orange Wheat Blossom Midge resistance.
LG Sabretooth 4 (soft) LG Sabretooth is a very high yielding, soft feed winter wheat with official testing suggesting that the variety also meets the specifications for the distilling market. The variety has a good disease resistance profile, combined with good agronomic features such as Orange Wheat Blossom Midge resistance.
LG Skyscraper 4 (soft) LG Skyscraper is the highest yielding variety available on the AHDB Candidate List 2019/20. The variety offers a combination of strong disease resistance, with good grain quality, and OWBM resistance.
LG Jigsaw 4 (hard) LG Jigsaw is a high yielding, hard winter wheat, which has genetic attributes that help secure maximum yield potential on-farm. The variety has inherited desirable traits from its parents, suggesting that it will fit the earlier drilling scenario. LG Jigsaw is resistant to OWBM, as well as eyespot – based on the Pch1 Rendezvous gene from Revelation.

 

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.