Early seed orders essential for new in-demand wheat varieties

LinkedIn +

Winter wheat growers are urged to get their name on certified seed for newly recommended varieties early this year, as demand is likely to outstrip supply.

The most recent AHDB Recommended List for 2017/18 saw a total of 11 new wheats make the grade and now offer grower plenty of choice, particularly in the soft and hard Group 4 categories.

Hutchinsons seed manager David Bouch says there are several new players likely to attract attention, particularly those offering high untreated yields.

His team, along with a national network of Hutchinsons agronomists across the UK, can help growers make the right variety decisions that are both technically and commercially balanced to maximise field and market performance.

Extensive trials

This advice is based on evaluation of varieties through an extensive network of regional, in-house trials within the Hutchinsons group, along with regular contact with all the major seed breeders.

Mr Bouch says seed sales support is particularly important after last year, when some consistent and familiar performers didn’t reach expectations because of a dynamic and rapidly changing disease environment.

“The key for us is ensuring that growers are up to date with the latest trends and we are seeing that people are increasingly looking at untreated yields now.

“Although it doesn’t necessarily mean you are able to reduce costs by cutting fungicide inputs, it will allow ease of management and less concerns for the grower and agronomist in the field,” he explains.

Top picks

Varieties that offer peace-of-mind management and require swift seed ordering include new milling wheat KWS Zyatt, which has the highest yield of any Group 1 type on the Recommended List at 102% plus an untreated yield of 91%.

It is estimated that seed supply from breeder KWS will be enough to cover about 8% of the market.

Mr Bouch says early impressions from the millers are promising, with quality very good, but its success over the next few seasons will depend upon the premium the market is prepared to pay.

“If you try some KWS Zyatt this year, I would advise you to fix a buy back contract for the variety to ensure you are getting the adequate premium,” he adds.

Of the new soft Group 4 wheats, Mr Bouch singles out Limagrain’s LG Sundance as having huge promise and the highest Septoria rating on the list at 7.3, making it particulary attractive to growers in the West Country where pressure is high.

Its key characteristics include a solid disease resistance package that leads to an untreated yield of 90% (104% fungicide treated), good standing ability and orange wheat blossom midge resistance.

It also has distilling potential, so could be attractive in northern regions and could take some market share from Leeds, which is a firm favourite in this market.

“There may only be enough seed for just 2-3% of the market, so it is definitely one to get your hands on early,” explains Mr Bouch.

“Its bushel weight is the only concern with LG Sundance, but at 74.5kg/hl, nine times out of 10 it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Barn fillers

Four new hard Group 4 types have made the new Recommended List, with the two highest yielding varieties offering field and the top two have caught the eye of Mr Bouch, achieving 106% of controls in AHDB trials.

“Shabras from Syngenta and KWS Kerrin – which has an East/West recommendation – are true barn fillers and there will be enough seed for 5% and 8% of the market, respectively.

“Kerrin is only an East/West Recommendation because of its low hagberg falling number, but that shouldn’t put growers off if they are looking for a very high yielding feed wheat,” he added.

Candidates of interest

RGT Universe (soft feed) and RGT Gravity (hard feed)  are both candidates with high potential that should see a small amount of seed available for 2017 – 18, says Mr Bouch.

Share this story:

About Author