New Varieties for Autumn 2013 - Agrii - Connecting Agri-science with farming

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April 4, 2013

New Varieties for Autumn 2013

Barry Barker, Agrii’s Arable Seed Manager, casts his eye over some cereal options for autumn drilling.

With 10 new wheat varieties and 7 new winter barley varieties on the HGCA Recommended List this year, it would appear at first sight to not be an easy task of sorting out the key varieties. However, that list can be reduced quite quickly due to availability or varieties awaiting end use approval.

In the case of the winter barley, four of the new varieties are malting types which are still undergoing evaluation by the end users, coupled with the fact that the demand for winter malting barley in general is declining then it is unlikely that Talisman, KWS Joy, Mezmaar and Soloman will feature to any extent in most growers minds this autumn. On the other hand the three new feed barley varieties will. KWS Cassia accounts for 40% of the UK market and a much higher percentage in England/Wales than Scotland. KWS Glacier comes from the same stable and with a 3% yield UK advantage and better Rhynchosporium resistance it will definitely make some in-roads this year. Figures for the East are better than any variety on the list and may just tempt a few disillusioned malting growers too. Matros is another 2-row and has a specific East recommendation where its performance is only 3rd to KWS Glacier and Volume. But the variety has already got a following in the North. In that area the main 2-row has been Retriever and this offers a stiffer but taller choice and better specific weight. California was launched last year but only added this year. It offers another alternative to KWS Cassia being earlier and the stiffest variety on the list. It also has better Mildew and Rhynchosporium resistance. Samples may be suitable for pearling too.

On the wheat front, 3 varieties, Chilton, Monterey and Delphi, have very low levels of seed production so growers will find it very difficult to obtain supplies. KWS Croft leads the Group 3 category and is a solid variety disease wise and clearly the yield will attract interest. With a full PGR programme this variety should prove a useful addition.

There are four new soft feed wheats this year. Leeds was one of the few varieties to produce a better result in 2012 than 2011 and it should particularly appeal to the North and Scotland where it looks suitable for the distilling market and its provisional yield is better than all other varieties. Myriad is another variety that could suit the North and only marginally behind Leeds. A bit better Hagberg and better Mildew and Yellow Rust resistance may give it the nod for some people. Myriad has also done well in the East.

Revelation is from Limagrain (like Myriad). A bit later than the other two but has a very nice set of disease scores and particularly of note is the very good Eyespot rating and a Septoria tritici score of (6) which Agrii trials have rated (7). This makes it a good proposition in the West of the country. The variety has very stiff straw too. Cougar from RAGT will attract attention because of its (7) for Septoria. It also has good rust resistance. It does have low specific weight and a moderate Hagberg and was badly hit by Fusarium Ear Blight late on in trials last year.

In the hard feed wheat which is by far the largest sector of the market these days, there are two new entrants. KWS Kielder and Dickens. The former is another high yielding feed wheat from KWS, similar to KWS Santiago in terms of low specific weight and moderate Yellow Rust resistance but it does look as though it is a bit stiffer and has slightly better Septoria tritici. It also looks to be pretty competitive against blackgrass. Dickens on the other hand is somewhat different from the KWS material. Less than 2% behind Santiago it has better grain characters, very good Yellow and Brown Rust resistance and is one of earliest feed wheat varieties. It isn’t Orange Wheat Blossom Midge resistant but does offer an excellent companion variety to the likes of Santiago and Kielder.

For further information and guidance regarding variety choice and seed supply, please consult your usual Agrii contact or speak to a member of our Seed Team, details of whom can be found here.