Agrovista seeds has produced a new hard Group 4-type wheat called Mindful, and will donate 10% of seed sale profits to two farming charities.
Thanks to Agrovista’s pioneering initiative, Mindful is also supporting the farming community in a very different way, building on the partnership forged between the company and the Farming Community Network and RSABI last year.
Agrovista’s head of marketing, Jodie Champion said: “Given the unprecedented challenges the agricultural sector is facing, we wanted to help farming customers and their families access the emotional and practical support that both charities provide.
“Many farmers are facing increasing business and personal pressures that can, if left unchecked, seriously affect mental and physical wellbeing. It is vital that those involved in agriculture and their families have access to a sympathetic person at the end of the phone who understands farmers and rural life.
“Our donation will support the exceptional work that both charities carry out every day. But, more importantly, we hope that by extensively promoting the charity helplines, this may just help one person out when they need it most.”
When it comes to in-field performance, Mindful can compete with the best. Stuart Cree, Agrovista’s technical seed specialist, said the variety has shown remarkable high-yield consistency and has topped in-house trials in two very different years: “Mindful offers a consistently strong yield performance across differing regions and drilling dates, and after a range of previous cropping and as a second wheat.
“This, bolstered by solid disease resistance and high specific weight, safeguards quality, yield, and value against difficult seasons, whether deluge or drought.”
Mindful produced the best mean yield across Agrovista’s AgX trial sites in 2021 and 2022 at both extremes of the sowing window. Drilled in September 2022 it produced 14.89t/ha; late sown in November the same year it gave 15.44t/ha.
At Agrovista’s AgX site at Haddenham, Cambridgeshire it produced a two-year mean yield of 13.15t/ha.
Trials for harvest 2022 carried out as part of the NL trialling programme both in Scotland and Cambridgeshire following peas, or cereals pre-ploughed, placed Mindful in the top three yielding varieties when sown before the 25 September, Mr Cree explained.
The variety has a sound combination of disease resistance ratings, suggestive of multi-gene protection derived from parents Evolution and Costello.
“Evolution delivered a step-change in disease resistance and high untreated yield, and Costello had total resistance to yellow rust,” said Mr Cree. “This resistance is only part of Mindful’s genome, promising similar stability over time.”
Giles Western is growing Mindful for the second year in succession on his 400ha arable operation at The Grove, near Woodbridge in Suffolk. Last season he grew 22.5ha of pre-basic seed, drilled on 1 October 2021 at 125kg/ha, into heavy clay loam left fallow after April-lifted sugar beet.
“The crop looked good from the start,” said Mr Western. “It stood very well and remained clean. It was noticeably earlier to harvest than Dawsum and cut like a dream.”
The crop yielded 12.14t/ha of bold grain, while his Dawsum averaged 11.83t/ha. Last autumn the 22.5ha field was resown with pre-basic Mindful and a further 35.5ha of C1 seed was grown after oilseed rape and sugar beet – the latter sown on 7 January at 300kg/ha.
“The January-drilled crop looks better than Gleam drilled about the same time and the earlier-drilled Mindful looks very good as well.”
FCN has over 400 volunteers who provide free confidential pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help, regardless of whether the issue is personal or business-related.
RSABI provides practical, emotional and financial support to all people currently or previously involved in farming, crofting and occupations related to agriculture in Scotland.
FCN helpline – 03000 111 999 (7am-11pm, 365 days of the year). www.fcn.org.uk
RSABI helpline – 0808 1234 555 (24/7, 365 days of the year). www.rsabi.org.uk