The future is bright for the Limagrain wheat breeding programme

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Bringing high yielding wheat varieties to market that offer a range of attributes to reflect the differing agronomic and marketing requirements of farmers across the UK, has always been a focus of the Limagrain UK wheat breeding programme.

This has never been more evident than in this year’s winter wheat candidate list, where Limagrain has 7 out of the total 11 varieties up for recommendation to join the 2019-20 AHDB Recommended List, spread across almost every quality sector.

We are particularly excited about our soft feed variety LG Skyscraper, which is the highest yielding wheat candidate at 109% and will potentially be the overall highest yielding wheat variety, should it gain full recommendation to the 2019-20 List, says Les Daubney, marketing director for arable seeds, with Limagrain UK.

LG Skyscraper’s very high yield shows a significant 4% increase over the control feed variety KWS Santiago in treated trials and demonstrates that the variety is capable of competing with many of the high yielding feed varieties that have been added to the AHDB RL in the last couple of seasons.

“What is also exciting and really valuable on-farm, is that this yield potential has been consistent across both seasons and regions.”

“With excellent grain and end-use quality attributes on offer, LG Skyscraper is bucking the trend that soft wheats don’t yield or have the desirable quality characteristics of the hard Group 4’s as here is a soft wheat that does both – and very well,” Les says.

After two years of official testing, based on these excellent quality attributes, LG Skyscraper has been rated as a positive for distilling, making it an attractive proposition for growers in the north. The variety has a Hagberg Falling Number (HFN) of 216 and specific weight of 77.7, in comparison to the hard feed wheat KWS Santiago, with a HFN of 188 and specific weight of 76.3, and the biscuit wheat Zulu, with a HFN of 229 and specific weight of 76.4.

LG Skyscraper has a pedigree of (Cassius x NAWW29) x KWS Santiago. This balance of genetics brings excellent disease resistance to the variety; LG Skyscraper has good resistance ratings for mildew (7), yellow rust (8), brown rust (6) and for Septoria tritici (6).

This combination of disease resistance offers a variety with improved ratings over many of the feed varieties commercially in the market at present – which is also reflected in its excellent untreated yield performance.

Agronomically, LG Skyscraper shows itself to be a robust and flexible variety; Limagrain data however suggests that the variety is not as tall as the official figures indicate and 2017 lodging data should be viewed with caution as it was an erratic season with regards to plant growth, and a difficult season for targeted agronomic programmes,” advises Ron Granger, arable technical manager at Limagrain.

“Our data shows the variety to be high tillering with a semi-prostate winter growth habit, and quicker plant development in the spring – similar to Evolution. It is early maturing –the same as JB Diego and Skyfall.”

“What this translates into in the field is that LG Skyscraper is suitable for drilling from the third week of September onwards and also offers a later drilling opportunity in regards to the blackgrass control scenario,” Ron says.

Limagrain data suggests that LG Skyscraper performs well as a second wheat, (3-year data set) and this is an area in which we will continue to generate more information. LG Skyscraper also has Orange Wheat Blossom Midge Resistance (OWBM); an important trait that is of increasing value in wheat varieties due to restrictions on insecticide products.

So to summarise, for those growers who are looking to grow a Group 4 and maximise their return on investment, they would have to go far to find a better variety than LG Skyscraper, with its very high yields, grain quality attributes and agronomic merits.

LG Jigsaw is a very different variety; it is a high yielding hard feed wheat that offers many valuable agronomic characters and it suits the earlier drilling opportunity. LG Jigsaw is the highest yielding hard feed wheat candidate and is very similar to its parent KWS Santiago, regarding both treated and untreated yield potential.

“From a pedigree of KWS Santiago x Revelation, it’s easy to see where these strong attributes come from. KWS Santiago has shown itself to be a consistent, high yielding, safe on-farm variety, and Revelation has proven excellent disease resistance ratings and fits the early drilling slot well,” says Les Daubney.

LG Jigsaw also has similar straw characteristics to KWS Santiago and responds well to PGR treatments. It’s disease resistance profile is excellent, with a solid rating of (6) for Septoria tritici, (8) for yellow rust, (7) for brown rust and a very good rating of (7) for eyespot.

The variety offers genetic resistance to OWBM and has Pch1 Rendezvous eyespot resistance; very important traits that are valued by growers.

“Our data suggests that LG Jigsaw is a very high tillering variety, with a very prostrate winter/spring growth habit and later spring ear development. In Limagrain trials last spring, it was really noticeable that LG Jigsaw held onto its high tiller numbers when many other varieties lost tillers due to the very dry spring – and it’s all of these factors that come together to make the variety suitable for the earlier drilling slot,” adds Ron Granger.

“It is a later maturing variety and with limited data, looks very good in the second wheat slot, but this is an area that we are continuing to trial.”

Matt Shand, arable wholesale seeds manager for Limagrain UK, is very pleased with the level of interest in these varieties from across the industry and believes that this interest will only increase for both varieties going forward.

“Whilst LG Skyscraper and LG Jigsaw are the two stand out candidates, the breadth of other candidate varieties on offer all have specific characteristics that will find favour on- farm for their agronomics, whilst meeting specific end-user requirements.”

LG Candidate Varieties for Recommended List 2019-20

Variety Group Key features
LG Detroit Potential Bread 2 LG Detroit is a very high yielding, hard Group 2 wheat, that potentially meets specification for UKP bread wheat for overseas markets.The variety has a good disease resistance package, combined with stiff straw and excellent grain quality. Importantly, LG Detroit is resistant to orange wheat blossom midge.
LG Rhythm PotentialBiscuit 3 LG Rhythm is a high yielding, soft biscuit wheat, that is also positive for both distilling and uks export, thus meeting the requirements of many end markets. The variety has good straw characteristics combined with a good disease resistance profile, it carries resistance to WOBM and performs well in the north.
LG Spotlight 4 (soft) LG Spotlight is a very high yielding, soft feed wheat, offering growers a strong agronomic package of good disease resistance, stiff straw, excellent grain quality and OWBM resistance. The variety has a very good specific weight; comparable to thebest varieties on the AHDB Recommended List. LG Spotlight also has a very high Hagberg Falling Number; an unusual but positive characteristic for a soft feed wheat.
LG Interstellar 4 (soft) LG Interstellar is a very high yielding, soft feed winter wheat, with official testing suggesting that the variety also meets the specifications for the distilling market. The variety has a good disease resistance profile, combined with good agronomic features such as Orange Wheat Blossom Midge resistance.
LG Sabretooth 4 (soft) LG Sabretooth is a very high yielding, soft feed winter wheat with official testing suggesting that the variety also meets the specifications for the distilling market. The variety has a good disease resistance profile, combined with good agronomic features such as Orange Wheat Blossom Midge resistance.
LG Skyscraper 4 (soft) LG Skyscraper is the highest yielding variety available on the AHDB Candidate List 2019/20. The variety offers a combination of strong disease resistance, with good grain quality, and OWBM resistance.
LG Jigsaw 4 (hard) LG Jigsaw is a high yielding, hard winter wheat, which has genetic attributes that help secure maximum yield potential on-farm. The variety has inherited desirable traits from its parents, suggesting that it will fit the earlier drilling scenario. LG Jigsaw is resistant to OWBM, as well as eyespot – based on the Pch1 Rendezvous gene from Revelation.



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