A hat-trick of new Syngenta cereal varieties added to the new AHDB Recommended Lists (RLs) continues the company’s heritage of breeding varieties that fit the evolving needs of the industry, says Syngenta conventional varieties marketing manager, Tracy Creasy.
This includes winter wheat suited to growers’ latest agronomic needs, and spring malting barley varieties geared to modern day end market requirements, she adds.
Winter wheat: SY Insitor traits fit 2020 vision
New hard Group 4 winter wheat SY Insitor is a top barn-filling variety that comes with traits well-suited to growers’ needs for autumn 2020 and beyond, says Tracy Creasy.
As well as having the highest UK treated yield figure of all the hard feed winter wheats on the AHDB Recommended List for 2020/21, at 104.6%, SY Insitor comes with a Septoria tritici resistance rating of 6.6, Mrs Creasy explains.
“This rating is only just behind Graham, which has become a popular variety for its Septoria tritici resistance. Plus, SY Insitor has the benefit of orange wheat blossom midge resistance,” Mrs Creasy adds.
Quality-wise, Mrs Creasy says SY Insitor has an outstanding specific weight on the AHDB RL of 78.3 kg/hl, well above the 76 kg/hl level often demanded by buyers, plus a high Hagberg of 265. High Hagbergs usually correlate with good resistance to grain sprouting in ears, she notes.
“The other appealing feature about SY Insitor is its adaptability. It has produced high yields as a first or second cereal, on light and heavy soils, over multiple seasons and in all regions – so growers around the country should benefit from it.
“It has also produced excellent yields from medium and late sowing dates, so it fits with the trend for not drilling early. Allied to this, we have seen it to be a fast-establishing variety even in less favourable conditions.
“Overall, SY Insitor is poised to fit many criteria that growers need as we enter the new decade – high yield and high quality, but also good Septoria tritici resistance, plus suitability for later drilling as we look to manage weeds, pests and diseases with a diminished crop protection armoury.”
Spring barley: SY Tungsten is tough to beat
With the spring malting barley market now keen for dual-purpose varieties suited to distilling and brewing, and not just brewing, on the back of increased demand for Scottish Whisky, newly-recommended SY Tungsten looks tough to beat, says Tracy Creasy.
“The only variety with dual-purpose malting potential added to the AHDB RL this year, SY Tungsten has the highest UK treated yield figure of any dual-purpose spring barley on the RL,” she says, at 105.4% of controls.
“It also raises the bar for an important quality trait that end users look for as a measure of alcohol yield – in that it has the highest hot water extract figure on the spring barley RL, at 316.8. This is in addition to a low grain nitrogen content of 1.43% and a very good 67.7 kg/hl specific weight.”
SY Tungsten has also yielded well in all regions, performing particularly well in the north and west, says Mrs Creasy, and has shown good brackling resistance and similar maturity to Laureate.
“Ultimately, SY Tungsten has the potential to be an alternative to Laureate. However, this will be some years away as Laureate is now well established with growers and end users,” she adds.
Spring barley: SY Splendor for superior yield
Potential new brewing variety SY Splendor takes the honours of having the highest UK treated yield figure of any spring barley on the new AHDB RL, at 106.5%, says Tracy Creasy.
Importantly, it has also delivered outstanding yield consistency over the last three seasons, plus high yields across all regions, she notes. “SY Splendor also comes with a very high specific weight of 68.1 kg/hl, good straw strength and excellent brackling resistance, so looks set to provide a dependable option to growers.
“Its maturity is similar to Laureate, and it has produced a high hot water extract, similar to control varieties. In time, it could become an alternative to Propino,” Mrs Creasy suggests.