RAGT Seeds at LAMMA 22 – intelligent seed breeding for forward-thinking farmers

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Novel and improved crop traits delivered by one of the world’s most advanced plant breeding programmes will be the core focus on the RAGT Seeds stand at LAMMA 22.

Visitors will be able to talk to RAGT plant breeders and members of the commercial team about the latest combinable and forage crop developments as well as soil health plants.

The stand will include an impressive range of indoor crop plots featuring innovative varieties designed to meet the needs of today’s farmers.

RAGT Seeds remains at the forefront of DNA technology, adopting new techniques and developing them to optimise trait selection across its breeding programmes.

Managing director Lee Bennett says: “Our experience in this area brings many advantages in developing and breeding the varieties we sell and the advice we provide.

“This has helped RAGT become and remain Europe’s number one cereal seed provider.”

The development of genetic markers and advances in technology have greatly increased the accuracy and speed at which the presence or absence of desired characteristics can be detected.

“This is invaluable in helping breeders tackle the many challenges that crop production faces,” says Mr Bennett.

Pest and disease resistance

“Some of the more obvious examples include helping to improve pest and disease resistance as the chemical armoury dwindles, boosting crop resilience in the face of climate change and improving nitrogen use efficiency to help growers drive down input costs and carbon footprints.

“All this must be combined with improved yields and quality, while ensuring rigorous end user specifications and changing consumer habits are met to help growers make the most of an increasingly volatile market.”

A raft of new material is coming along RAGT’s breeding pipeline, including several exciting high yielding wheats with excellent disease resistance, some very promising spring barleys and oats with improved yields of top quality grain and new hybrid oilseed rapes.

BYDV resistance

One of the most exciting developments is BYDV resistance in wheat.

“RAGT is the first company to introduce this trait in Europe, through the presence of the Bdv2 gene that originates from a wild goat grass,” says Mr Bennett.

RAGT Seeds at LAMMA 22 – intelligent seed breeding for forward-thinking farmers

Lee Bennett

“This offers protection from the day the wheat is planted to the day it is harvested for less than the cost of a single pyrethroid spray. Plant resistance greatly simplifies crop management, removing the need to monitor and control aphid populations with foliar-applied insecticide sprays while benefiting the environment.”

Commercially introduced in 2019, BYDV resistance is now present in a range of milling and feed wheat varieties nearing the market. Some of these also feature orange wheat blossom midge resistance, raising the prospect of insecticide-free wheat for many growers.

Mr Bennett says:  “It is our intention at RAGT to provide growers with as much information as possible about our varieties, above and beyond what appears in the official lists, to help ensure growers get the best from their crops.

“LAMMA provides an excellent opportunity to do just that and we look forward to showing existing and new customers some of the exciting developments that RAGT has to offer, helping them make the best choices for their own farms.”

* Find out more by visiting RAGT Seeds in Hall 10, Stand 10.200 when LAMMA returns to the NEC on 11-12 January 2022.

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About Author

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 an avid follower of Stoke City.