The 2019/2020 AHDB cereals and oilseeds Recommended List has been announced, with some new additions that offer exceptional disease resistance.
Wynnstay combinable seed product manager, Jonathan Baxendale, provides his top picks for growers to consider.
“The latest Recommended List has some exciting new additions, including new Group 4 soft wheats LG Spotlight and LG Skyscraper, both of which were candidate varieties last year,” says Jonathan.
“As an out-and-out yielder, LG Skyscraper is the number one choice. Alongside a good specific weight of 77.2, it offers good disease resistance ratings including Orange Wheat Blossom Midge (OWBM) resistance, which is becoming an increasing priority for growers following a problematic 2018. The only concern may be its standing ability, but it’s on the list with two ratings of 7.”
He adds although a lower yielder than LG Skyscraper, LG Spotlight arguably offers a more complete package, with an even higher specific weight of 78.3 and better lodging scores of 8 and 7 with and without a plant growth regulator (PGR) respectively.
“Growers also shouldn’t forget the three G’s, which were favourite Group 4 wheats this year – Gleam, Gravity and Graham. All grew in popularity in 2018 and we envisage this being the case again for 2019, with all three yielding well despite a difficult year,” he notes
For those looking for a new Group 3 wheat, Jonathan says KWS Firefly is a strong contender. “It’s high yielding with good disease resistance, that includes a Septoria Tritici rating of 7.0, ticking all the boxes in terms of consistency.”
Another new addition to keep an eye on is Group 2 wheat KWS Extase. “Again, it offers good yield but what we’re particularly excited about is the Septoria Tritici score of 8.1 and an untreated yield of 95%, which are both the highest on the list which set a new standard for disease resistance.
“Although it’s a breadmaking variety, this will still appeal to growers in the west who would opt for a Group 2 wheat to grow for livestock feed.”
Alongside new wheat varieties, Jonathan notes some new winter barley options that offer very high yields and good disease packages, including KWS Gimlet, LG Flynn and Valerie.
“Valerie has a specific weight of 70.2 and is 4% higher yielding than KWS Cassia, so it could be a true replacement,” he notes.
“These two-row conventional varieties are starting to catch up with the yield advantage that six-row hybrids have had in recent years. New genetic advancements provide cheaper seed costs, with not as much of a yield difference as there has been historically. However, hybrids do still have their place, with SY Kingsbarn looking interesting with a yield of 108% in control trials, and a specific weight of 69.9.
“Old favourite Surge remains on the list, maintaining its popularity with growers,” he adds.
He notes there are also nine new oilseed rape (OSR) additions. “Aspire is the highest yielding OSR on the list, and has the added benefit of being resistant to Turnip Yellows Virus. Campus will still be very popular as a proven conventional variety with good early vigour.
“Although a mixed year for cereal crops, it’s great to see a number of key varieties remaining firmly on the list and performing well this year despite the tricky conditions. It’ll be interesting to see how the next year unfolds, and if any of the new options replace the favourites of 2018,” Jonathan concludes.