Variety choice lies at the heart of arable production. Get it right, and you have the potential to boost productivity and profits. But get it wrong and you could be left with a disappointing harvest and a rather large seed bill.
Whether you are looking to boost returns by growing specialist crops or want to find out about the newest additions to the Recommended List, it can all be found at this year’s Cereals Event (13-14 June). “We have a huge number of arable plots profiling everything from market-leading varieties to up-and-coming genetics,” explains Jon Day, event director. “In addition, growers can compare untreated and treated trial plots, helping them to identify the most disease resistant options. As well as getting expert advice from some of the UK’s leading crop protection firms.”
AHDB will be focusing on preparing businesses for the changes that lie ahead, rather than crop plots this year. Visitors to the AHDB stand are also invited to comment on the RL review and fill in the survey on the day or go online to do so.
Just one example of this is NIAB’s crop plots, which will showcase 40 winter wheat and 27 winter oilseed rape varieties – either already established on the AHDB 2018/19 Recommended List or candidates – with more demonstration plots this year than ever before. The untreated plots will give visitors a head start in their variety selection for next season, with independent specialists on hand to point growers in the right direction.
Here’s a look at just some of what visitors can expect at this year’s event.
CROPCO has established two plots of hybrid wheat on its stand, showcasing its recently introduced varieties Hyguardo and Hybiza.
Hyguardo is a top yielding hybrid wheat giving rapid, vigorous establishment, and also boasts Orange Wheat Blossom Midge resistance. Hybiza offers very early maturity and excellent disease resistance. Like Hyguardo, its vigorous establishment provides potential for later sowing and both can therefore be used in blackgrass control programmes. As Hybiza is also early to harvest it is an alternative to winter barley.
“Both varieties give growers time to complete a range of measures to suppress blackgrass before drilling,” says John Poulton, managing director at CROPCO. “Because it is so early to harvest, Hybiza is a particularly useful replacement for winter barley, providing a significantly higher value crop while spreading the harvest workload.
“Growers across the UK have found a practical role for hybrid wheat, especially on poorer land where hybrid vigour gives the greatest benefits. But this type of wheat is still relatively new to the UK, so we feel it is important to give growers an opportunity to see it for themselves on our plots.”
Two new soft wheat varieties, Elicit and Elation, will take centre stage in Elsoms’ plot. Elicit – a newly recommended biscuit wheat – combines robust disease resistance with high yield and good grain quality. “With a treated yield of 103%, Elicit sits at joint top of the table, while its Septoria score of 6.4 puts it in front of anything else in the Group 3 market,” says Adrian Hayler at Elsoms.
Elation is a soft Group 4 wheat with one of the highest specific weights in its group at 78.3kg/hl. “It has an excellent potential for distilling, its UKS specification makes it ideal for export and is very high yielding at 104% (treated),” adds Mr Hayler.
New introductions from KWS include Group 4 KWS Jackal, the highest yielding soft wheat on the 2018/19 Recommended List. Offering a good disease profile with resistance to orange wheat blossom midge and excellent yield potential, including in second wheat position, KWS Jackal is ideal for growers in the north. The variety is suitable for a range of end use markets including, distilling, soft milling and bioethanol.
Visitors to Cereals will also be able to meet KWS’ new star baker, Group 1 bread-making wheat KWS Zyatt. Claiming the Group 1 top spot for yield on the Recommended List, KWS Zyatt offers yields up to 2% higher than Skyfall, several days earlier at harvest, and with high protein levels. Good disease profile with Pch1 eyespot resistance adds to its appeal, as does its performance as second wheat. A premium bread-making variety, KWS Zyatt can open up additional market opportunities though end-use flexibility, where it’s proving its ability to produce specialist breads in addition to standard loaf.
The Limagrain plot will showcase the highest yielding wheat candidate for 2018-19 – soft wheat variety, LG Skyscraper – as well as a LG Jigsaw, a new high yielding hard wheat.
At 109% LG Skyscraper will potentially be the overall highest yielding wheat variety ever, should it gain full recommendation to the 2019-20 Recommended List.
The variety has good resistance for mildew (7), yellow rust (8), brown rust (6) and Septoria (6), as well as a positive rating for distilling. “Agronomically, LG Skyscraper shows itself to be a robust and flexible variety, suitable for drilling from the third week of September, and also offers a later drilling opportunity with regards to blackgrass control,” says Ron Granger, arable technical manager at Limagrain UK.
Two new winter wheat varieties will be unveiled by Syngenta at Cereals 2018 – SY Medea, a potential new bread-making candidate variety, and Gleam, a new high-yielding hard Group 4 feed wheat.
Added to the AHDB Recommended List for 2018/19, and due for launch this autumn, Gleam combines high yield with robust resistance to Septoria tritici with a score of 6.2, says Syngenta seeds campaign manager, Tracy Creasy. “As Septoria tritici has become more difficult to control, growers have increasingly turned to growing more resistant varieties.
“It also offers good resistance to rusts and early maturity. Early maturity has become important to help spread harvest workloads as farm sizes have increased, but also to provide a longer window after harvest for preparing stale seedbeds for blackgrass management.”
RAGT will be showcasing the latest addition to its wheat profile – Gravity. RGT Gravity is the highest yielding winter wheat in the UK and gained automatic promotion to the 2018/19 AHDB Recommended List as a result – the first time a feed variety has achieved this in over a decade.
This hard Group 4 variety has proved very consistent, outperforming all other varieties in NL1 and NL2 and during its RL trial year.
The variety is a three-way cross of Oakley, Scout and Santiago and commands top spot as a first and second wheat on both heavy and light soils. It has a very good disease profile and is also resistant to orange wheat blossom midge.
LG Diablo, the highest yielding barley on the 2018/19 Recommended List, will be on show from Limagrain. Yielding 106%, LG Diablo is medium height with good lodging and brackling resistance and is currently under testing for malting barley committee approval for both brewing and malt distilling.
It also boasts the highest hot water extract available, and has a very good specific weight, making it suitable for the brewing and malting industry.
RAGT will be showcasing its latest spring barley variety, RGT Asteroid. Recently added to the 2018/19 Recommended List as a malt and grain distilling variety under test, it looks to be particularly well suited to the Scottish distilling market.
The variety will be launched commercially for spring 2020. It is set to challenge Concerto, Fairing and Octavia, thanks to its superior yields of high specific weight grain, which delivers a high hot water extract and high diastatic power.
The variety is approved by CBMO in France and is in trial in Germany and Austria, so the likelihood for export markets is high.
With the growth in popularity of high-yielding winter feed barley, Syngenta will feature plots of five leading Hyvido varieties at this year’s event – including two of its latest hybrid varieties that have made their way on to the Recommended List; Belmont and Libra.
“Hyvido has seen a surge of interest over recent years,” says Mark Bullen, Syngenta seeds campaign manager. “That’s partly for its high yield, but also for the benefits of its vigorous growth for competing against black-grass.
“With a UK treated yield of 111%, new hybrid Belmont takes yields on the AHDB Recommended List up another notch. Meanwhile, Libra is the best hybrid barley for specific weight that we’ve ever bred.”
In addition, the company will be exhibiting its line-up of winter and spring malting varieties – including unveiling two new high-yielding winter malting varieties added to the AHDB Recommended List for 2018/19; Electrum and Coref.
Syngenta malting barley experts will be on hand to provide updates on latest variety choices, including up-and-coming spring malting variety, Laureate, which has full approval for both malt distilling and brewing uses on the Malting Barley Committee (MBC) list. Laureate also received CBMO approval in France in February 2018, which will increase potential export opportunities for the variety across Europe, added Mr Bullen.
Elsoms will be showcasing its latest oilseed rape variety – Kielder. Particularly valuable for growers in the North, Kielder boasts excellent vigour in the autumn and spring and a good defence against cabbage stem flea beetle, as well as a score 7 for light leaf spot resistance. The variety also has very stiff straw, providing resistance to lodging and easier harvesting.
New oilseed variety KWS Django is the latest offering from the KWS Momont breeding programme. This very high yielding conventional variety includes a strong disease package, mid-flowering and medium-late maturity. Early vigour ensures rapid establishment which gives it east and west appeal, with consistent performance across regions and seasons.
Scott Manning, KWS Marketing Manager, says: “With a number of very high yielding wheat, oilseed and sugar beet varieties included in the 2018 Recommended Lists, this year’s Cereals will provide an opportunity for growers to talk to our team of experts and find a variety to suit their needs. We’ll also be highlighting specific end-use markets for some of our highest performing wheats, and suggesting how growers can maximise these opportunities.”
Limagrain will similarly be exhibiting its line-up of conventional and hybrid oilseed rape varieties. Bred specifically for UK growers, hybrid varieties such as Aquila and Architect offer very good gross output potential, backed up by valuable traits such as TuYV, pod shatter and excellent disease resistance.
Visitors to the Bayer stand will be able to take a walk down into a wheat trench to get a different perspective on disease control. The trench means growers will be able to see each leaf layer easily and compare treated and untreated plots on each side.
Experts from the Bayer team will be available to discuss how to maximise disease control on each leaf layer, using products such as Ascra Xpro (bixafen + prothioconazole + fluopyram) and Aviator Xpro (bixafen + prothioconazole).
The popular grass weed screen display will also be returning, which highlights how existing and new chemistry work against different strains of black-grass, plus bromes, ryegrass, wild oats and annual meadow grass as part of an integrated control programme. As well as the recently launched new herbicide Monolith (mesosulfuron + propoxycarbazone), the treatments will feature an experimental new pre-emergence herbicide.
Growers visiting the Corteva Agriscience (formally DOW) stand will be able to see how the company’s breakthrough herbicide molecule Arylex Active performs in oilseed rape.
Arylex has been available to cereal growers for the past two years but Corteva plans to launch it to the oilseed rape market as an alternative to expensive pre-emergence weed treatments. Crop plots will show how the broad-leaved weed killer allows the crop to establish before growers have to invest in herbicide treatments.
Winter wheat plots treated with Arylex will also be on show with Corteva’s experts on hand to advise on the best strategy for growers to deploy when using the product in cereals.
- Tickets for this year’s Cereals Event are now on sale via the website cerealsevent.co.uk/tickets and cost £24 for a one-day adult ticket, £32 for a two-day adult ticket, and £20 for a one-day student ticket, with discounts available on advance and group bookings.