Consistent performers to take centre stage in spring cereal choices

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The barley, wheat and oat varieties which are proven on-farm are set to come out on top as growers consider spring variety options, with a couple of notable exceptions. 

Wynnstay’s combinable seed product specialist, Danny Richardson, shares that although there are some new options on the Recommended List, it’s the stalwarts of the market and some of the recent options which are anticipated to be favoured for spring sowing choices. 

“End use is the biggest driver when selecting spring barley varieties. RGT Planet is an excellent all-round variety which can be sold for brewing or for feed. It has a robust disease package and strong straw,” he says. 

“Similarly, Laureate is likely to be another popular option as it’s effectively triple use, as it can go into the brewing, distilling or feed markets. It has been around for a long time but remains consistent for our customers.”

More Skyway available

Mr Richardson also highlights Skyway, which was added to the Recommended List in 2021, and gained P2 Approval for Brewing in spring 2022. “There is more Skyway seed available this year, so I anticipate it being popular come spring. It’s very high yielding, has a high specific weight, is strong strawed and provides good brackling resistance. 

“Kelim is a strong option for farmers growing for their own use, as it delivers plenty of strong, stiff straw and bold grain, making it ideal for feed,” he adds.  

With wheat prices remaining high, Mr Richardson anticipates it being worth putting spring wheat in where there’s opportunity to. “Escape, a group 4 feed wheat, has the best overall agronomic package for disease, and is very high yielding,” he says. 

“Wynnstay will also be marketing the latest milling and feed varieties from KWS, Ladum and Fixum, respectively. Ladum in the highest yielding UKFM Group 1 milling wheat, naturally offering the grain quality expected for a Group 1. Fixum has a strong disease package and is the highest yielding group 4 option.”

Finally, he notes that there are a few options for spring oats. “Canyon is the most consistently performing feed oat, having been on the Recommended List since 2011. But, for growers looking to progress their crops, Merlin is a high yielding and early maturing spring oat option, with good resistance to lodging and mildew, and importantly is picking up millers support.”

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