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Arable News

Go for yield and quality to cover all markets Growers need to aim for quality premiums to support gross margins in an era of lower commodity prices, says a variety specialist. “In a market where value is hard to locate, varieties with strong appeal and the chance of a premium are vital to supporting enterprise performance,” says Gleadell seed manager, Chris Guest (right). “There are few varieties that combine the high yields of a leading feed with the grain quality to attract a premium either for domestic use or export. The variety that combines these attributes with the agronomic characteristics to make it appealing on farm is KWS Lili,” he says. For growers in the east it is a particularly well-suited variety he believes because it has strong and short straw similar to Reflection that makes it easy to combine with

an early maturity. A Recommended List yield of 104 per cent of controls for the UK puts it within a point of both Reflection and KWS Santiago. “In comparison to one of the market leaders JB Diego, it has improved yields and potential for a quality premium. You can grow it as a feed wheat, and if it meets quality specifications you have the opportunity to secure a quality premium. It has all the market options,” he says. Added to the Recommended List last year, it quickly attracted interest from growers and end-users alike and consequently about 40,000ha (98,000 acres) were planted in the autumn of 2015. “It performs better as a first wheat than second wheat based on what we have seen to date, and looks to have a particular strength on light land sites. “Agronomically, it does well in

KWS Lili combines the high yields of a leading feed wheat with the grain quality to attract a premium.

the east and the north. It has not suffered as badly with yellow rust this season as some other high

yielding varieties and its septoria resistance is proving to be similarly robust,” he says. ■

Faster-acting fungicide on the way Growers can look forward to using a promising new wheat fungicide next season, according to Bayer commercial technical manager Gareth Bubb (right). Ascra Xpro is said to give a step up in performance over existing market-leading SDHI fungicides such as Aviator Xpro and Adexar, which many growers use at least once in disease control programmes in wheat. The key to the boost in disease

control is the addition of a second SDHI active ingredient, fluopyram, to the SDHI bixafen and azole prothioconazole in Aviator Xpro, says Gareth. “The fluopyram enhances the speed of activity of the fungicide, which helps give better control of key yield-robbing diseases such as septoria. “In our trials so far this has given a yield increase of an average 0.3t/ha over those current standards.” In a trial at Bayer’s Long Sutton, Lincolnshire site differences in

septoria control were starting to appear between treatments applied about six weeks before the company’s field day there in early July. Gareth says: “It’s been a good test for the new product. Disease pressure is as high as many can ever remember in the region.” Untreated plots had been completely defoliated, while Ascra Xpro sprayed at the T2 flag leaf timing as part of a 4-spray programme had kept the top two leaves almost completely diseasefree and visibly greener than

alternative competitor programmes. Keeping leaves green for as long as possible is important for boosting yields, as the wheat plant converts light into energy and food to fill grains more effectively, he comments. “Typically, for every day longer you can keep leaves green, yield increases by 0.5t/ha.” Growers are advised to use Ascra Xpro at the flag leaf T2 timing, following Aviator Xpro at T1, final leaf three fully emerged. The new product will be widely available for use next spring, says Bayer. ■

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26 www.farmersguide.co.uk August 2016

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August 2016  

Farmers Guide Magazine August 2016 Issue

August 2016  

Farmers Guide Magazine August 2016 Issue