Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6R&D update/Seed 04 A ll replicated trials at our iFarms and AgriiFocus Technology Centre have been drilled and established very well. This year we are evaluating the performance of 40 varieties of winter wheat and oilseed rape along with 25 varieties of winter barley at AgriiFocus. We also have fully replicated variety trials in South Wales, Somerset, Brackley and Dorset. The main objectives of the variety trials in these different geographies is to not only to identify new varieties which have a good level of resistance against key diseases, but also to monitor the existing varieties in terms of their susceptibility to different strains of yellow rust and Septoria. This year we will also have fully replicated fungicide trials on some of the iFarms, including Dorset, Somerset and South Wales, where Septoria pressure tends to be high. The objective is to gather more data on the effectiveness of different fungicide programmes in enhancing yields and maximising farm profitability in the relevant geography. Targeted crop nutrition is very important in enhancing the yield of different crops and maximising farm output. Soil analysis plays a crucial role in identifying yield limiting factors. Our SoilQuest team is equipped with the technology not only to collect soil samples, but also to interpret soil analysis reports and produce fertiliser application plans. They can also help with identifying fertiliser products to suit your farm, so please contact your relevant SoilQuest representative if you need any advice or help. We have had successful iFarm meetings over the winter, where key speakers highlighted the importance of tailored fungicide programmes and crop nutrition for maximising farm yields and profits. The key messages from these meetings were: • Treating fields and zones within a field in a targeted way according to their nutrient status can reduce cost of production and increase farm profitability. • Employ a robust fungicide programme and remove yield limiting factors such as N, P, K, S and Mg • Consider trace elements – Cu, Zn and B along with Mn • A balanced nutrition and fungicide programme can improve nutrient use efficiency and farm profitability • Select correct variety and drilling date combination • Plan your programme according to variety and risk, taking into account region/rainfall/yield potential • Variety disease profile and variety responsiveness is the key for selecting the right fungicide programme • Build a robust fungicide programme: SDHI+triazole+multisite (+strobilurin +morpholine where appropriate) based on variety disease profile • Wheat disease management is increasingly challenging—stay ahead of the threat with trials guidance, the correct variety, local interpretation, effective planning, accurate timings and application and clever products. If you need further information please talk to your usual Agrii contact, or get in touch using the contact details on the back of this newsletter. Please also come to one of our upcoming events (details on the back page) to find out more about our trials work and the results and conclusions that we’re drawing. T he harvest ’17 crop will have around 22% of the production in NABIM Group 1 varieties and over 10% in Group 2. So what does that mean for variety choice this autumn? Clearly a greater percentage of milling wheat in the ground gives us more opportunities in the export markets. But it more than likely will put the milling premiums under pressure. However, a fair percentage of growers of Crusoe are not choosing it because it is a milling wheat, but because of its excellent Septoria resistance. Yes, being a milling wheat is a bonus if you can produce the specification. But it probably wasn’t the starting point for some growers. Skyfall has produced some excellent yields and has great flexibility in its drilling date all the way through to the early spring. It too has a decent disease resistance package. Add to this that the biggest new variety launch this year will be KWS Zyatt, another Group 1 variety. So what to do next autumn? The yield difference between the top feed varieties and the likes of Skyfall and Zyatt is not significant. What is more significant are the agronomics. Both from a cost of management point of view but also the time it takes to deal with the problems. It is not a surprise that the UK’s top selling varieties all have ratings of at least 5.5 for Septoria on Agrii data. They are not always the highest yielding though. Blackgrass competitiveness is more important to many than 2-3% difference in yield because in blackgrass situations the relative yields change. As Yellow Rust continues to evolve, it is becoming more important to know what the risks are when growing different varieties in proximity to each other. Agrii has developed a Yellow Rust diversification guide which is available via Agrii agronomists and Seed Managers to help limit the spread of Yellow Rust on farms. So is it the end of the milling wheat boom? No, because for many Crusoe and Skyfall are good varieties that just happen to be milling types. Zyatt looks to be pretty useful too. So don’t be surprised to see harvest ’18 with over 25% milling Group 1 varieties. Winter wheat plots at AgriiFocus Research update from AgriiFocus and our iFarms: Spring 2017 Dr Syed Shah The end of the milling wheat boom? Barry Barker, Seed Manager