Decade-old Cordiale delivers the dough in 2015

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It may be ten years since it was first recommended, but milling wheat Cordiale continues to deliver outstanding results on farm and in the mill.

Earlier to harvest than most breadmakers, it has produced some exceptional yields on farm this season and, on the back of its ability to maximise applied nitrogen, has maintained high proteins in milling samples.

According to KWS UK value chain manager, Dr Kirsty Richards, while 2015 has been a relatively benign harvest for most so far, millers have been pleased to get their hands on new season Cordiale.

Growers know how to manage the variety and millers like the consistency it brings to their grists: They know just how to manage it to secure premiums that approach those of Group 1’s,” she says.

Ken Goodger of Pates Farm, near Welney, Wisbech secured a phenomenal 12t/ha from his first cut Cordiale this year which at the same time it delivered a 12.7-13.2% protein, 84kg/hl specific weight and 300 plus Hagberg.

“It followed oilseed rape, was drilled in late September after subsoiling and had variable rate nitrogen, but nothing out of ordinary,” says Ken.

While he is yet to cut the bulk of the rest of his wheats, JB Diego has matched the 12t/ha first wheat Cordiale for yield but early blocks of Skyfall and Solstice have disappointed at 9.3 and 9.6t/ha.

“Add on the milling premium and the Cordiale will undoubtedly be our best performing wheat,” he says.

Henry Siggers of Leapingwells Farm, Kelveden, Essex, has 445ha of continuous wheat – some of which has been down to the crop for 50 years – all of which secures milling contracts.

He’s had Cordiale for eight years now and this harvest saw it yield just shy of 10t/ha and secure a 13% plus protein average, 300 plus Hagberg and 80-82kg/hl specific weight sample.

Three quarters of his crop area is down to the variety, the rest – bar a trial block of a number of new milling wheats – was Gallant in 2015.

“While the Gallant was 0.3t/ha higher yielding, it is later to harvest and has broken down to rust, so we’ll be replacing it with the higher yielding Crusoe next year.

“Quite simply, Cordiale has done us proud. It doesn’t matter whether the season is dry, wet or hot and dry it doesn’t let you down.

“While we do throw the book at it – using up to 300kg/ha nitrogen – we get the quality that the millers want and because we plough our medium to heavy ground every year, the early harvest gives us time to get crops turned around.

Mr Siggers says that while he’s trialled Skyfall, he has concerns over its sprouting; it didn’t yield as well as Crusoe, had a lower protein and was difficult to combine. “Next year we’ll be looking at Trinity and Illustrious as potential alternatives.”

ADM Milling Ltd, the leading UK independent miller, confirms it continues to benefit from Cordiale’s reliable performance across a range of growing conditions. As a result, it remains a fully approved variety by the miller which still views it as the top quality Group 2 wheat for use across a wide range of their flour grades.

According to ADM’s Trading Manager, Mark Ringrose the business will continue to seek a consistent supply of the variety from its extensive supply base next season. In addition it remains a popular wheat for many farmers supplying its ADM Connect growers club.

“Cordiale’s early maturity and early harvestability, combined with its ability to hang on to its Hagberg, have often been crucial to maintaining a good supply of quality wheat in difficult seasons across the last decade,” he says.

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