New varieties improve output and rotational resilience

A  new winter wheat, a spring wheat, one new winter barley, a spring oat and an oilseed rape from KWS are added to the 2020-21 AHDB Recommended List while a hybrid rye is added to the Descriptive List bringing a range of much-needed crops and added features to help growers spread the production risks and better-manage the harvest workload.

Winter wheat

KWS Kinetic is a Group 4 hard feed wheat with a yield of 104%, outstanding specific weight, early maturity and short, stiff straw. A KWS Silverstone and Reflection cross, it brings a unique set of agronomic features onto the RL to help growers spread their workloads.

“KWS Kinetic continues the suite of varieties from KWS that combine high yield potential with the much-needed agronomic attributes sought by growers to maximise on-farm performance.  Its earliness to harvest combined with short stiff straw, solid HFN and good resistance to sprouting will be attractive to growers looking to manage timings for a smooth harvest,” says Will Compson, KWS UK Country Manager.

“Yield is the basis of a variety’s appeal and KWS Kinetic has strong performance, at 104% of controls, it will be attractive to Eastern growers, irrespective of their soil type.  It also performs well in the west (105% controls) where it matches Graham and exceeds Gleam, the AHDB comparator varieties.“

“Also of interest will be the vareities wide drilling window, delivering 104% of controls in the mainstream window and 103% of controls when sown after 1st November,” says Mr Compson.

“While interest in late drilling varieties has increased, for use in blackgrass control, their true value has been confirmed during the prolonged wet weather of Autumn 2019.  Fortunately, in KWS Kinetic, growers have a variety they can rely on in all situations delivering a level of performance in the late-sown slot that is on a par with that produced when sown in the main drilling window,” he adds.

KWS Kinetic versus the comparator varieties

KWS Kinetic Gleam Graham
UK Treated yield (% of controls) 104.0 103.0 101.5
Untreated yield (% of treated controls) 79 84 88
Mildew 6 6 7
Yellow rust 6 7 8
Brown rust 6 6 6
Septoria tritici 5.0 6.3 6.8
Eyespot - 4 4
Fusarium 6 6 6
OWBM R R -

Source: 2020/21 AHDB RL – Winter Wheat

Spring wheat

An introduction that will be welcomed by growers is KWS Giraffe, a Group 2 spring wheat with a yield of 103% of controls and a better set of disease resistances than the market leading spring wheat, KWS Cochise.

“KWS Giraffe is a spring wheat with high yield potential, excellent grain quality, and good Group 2 baking performance. It provides a much-needed quality-type that yields well in both spring and late autumn sown situations” says Mr Compson.

“KWS Giraffe is also early to mature, equal to that of Mulika, is stiff strawed and at 80cm is relatively short amongst the spring wheats on teh market todays.  It has good all-round disease resistance as demonstrated by scores of 8 and 6.2 for yellow rust and Septoria tritici respectively,” he adds.

Winter barley

 

KWS Hawking, a three-way cross between 11-12 X California and KWS Tower, joins the Recommended List as the highest-yielding 2-row feed winter barley with a UK yield of 103.9% of controls although its best performance is in the East where at 106% of controls it performs close to that of a hybrid.

“KWS Hawking gives growers wanting a high-yielding winter barley a viable alternative to a hybrid. It has been consistent over three-years of trials, performs well on both light and heavy land sites and has an excellent specific weight of 68.5 kg/hl,” says Will Compson.

“KWS Hawking has a strong balance of features that will appeal to growers. From a league-topping yield and good disease resistance, including net blotch and Rhynchosporium, to early maturity and stiff straw,” he adds.

KWS Hawking and comparators

 

KWS Hawking KWS Gimlet Surge
Specific weight (kg/hl) 68.5 68.3 69.3
UK treated yield (% controls) 103.9 103.4 101.0
Resistance to lodging (1-9) 7.2 6.5 7.4
Ripening (days +/- KWS Orwell) 0 0 -1
Mildew 5 6 6
Rhynchosporium 6 6 7
Net blotch 6 6 6
Untreated yield (% of treated controls) 103 103 108

Source: AHDB

 

Spring oats

WPB Isabel is a spring oat with a UK yield of 104.1%, a high specific weight and a high kernel content making it a variety with considerable appeal to both growers and end-users.

“WPB Isabel is a spring oat with all-round performance. A UK yield of 104% of controls and a specific weight of 55.7 kg/hl are both higher than Aspen and Canyon, and a kernel content of 76.8%, which is again better than both Aspen and Canyon. It also has low screenings of just 2.3% which when added to its other attributes make for a variety with strong appeal to both growers and end-users,” says Will Compson.

Oilseed rape

Blazen is a conventional oilseed rape added to the AHDB Recommended List for the north. A gross output for the region of 105% of controls along with extremely stiff straw, average height, mid-maturity and strong disease resistance, ensure it will appeal strongly to growers.

“Growers will already be familiar with Blazen through the KWS Oilseed Establishment Partnership (OEP), a unique scheme that shares the production risk between the grower and the breeder. A combination of high gross output and good resistance to both light leaf spot and stem canker along with the shared approach to risk of OEP mean Blazen will be of strong interest to growers in all regions of the UK,” says Will Compson.

Blazen compared with the conventional controls

 

Blazen Campus Nikita Elgar
North treated gross output (% of controls) 105 102 102 98
Resistance to lodging [8] 8 8 8
Shortness of stem 6 6 7 6
Earliness of maturity 5 5 5 6
Light leaf spot 6 6 7 7
Stem canker 7 6 4 6

Source: AHDB

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy 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 a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.