Feed wheat to the fore as varieties come into focus mildew and 4 for brown rust. Like Gravity, it has OWBM resistance. Seed is pre-released this season through Daltons, Pearce and Wynnstay Woodheads.
Plant breeding company RAGT held its annual Variety Focus Day at its Ickleton base near Saffron Walden. Dominic Kilburn attended. With a large number of seed enquiries for its new high yielding Candidate Group 4 varieties RGT Gravity and RGT Universe, breeder RAGT has fast-tracked seed production and prereleased seed to ensure demand can be met, it says. Hard Group 4 Gravity is the highest yielding variety on the Candidate List with UK treated yields of 107 per cent and is described by the company as a real “out-and-out barn filler”.
High yielding hard feed Candidate RGT Gravity.
Soft Group 4 Candidate variety RGT Universe also looks set to be of interest to growers UK-wide with a yield of 105 per cent, and particularly so for growers in the North where it yielded 107 per cent in NL2 trials. Speaking at the company’s Variety Focus Day in late May, RAGT
RAGT’s managing director Simon Howell.
Soft feed wheat RGT Universe.
managing director Simon Howell said that interest in the two varieties was high. “We’ve pre-released both varieties because there’s been a lot of interest in them – in fact we’ve had more combined C1 enquiries for them than for Skyfall, which is the variety with the single biggest market share in winter wheats,” he said. “The biggest Group grown in the UK is still feed wheats and we’ve got the highest yielding soft and hard Candidates,” he added. Mr Howell said that while traits such as disease resistance were a key part in farmers’ thinking when selecting varieties, he was in no doubt that yield is still king. “Good disease resistance against septoria, for example, is a very good tool to have and is becoming more important all the time, but filling the barn is still the most important factor for growers, particularly as premiums appear to be coming under pressure,” he explained. “We’ve seen the likes of Skyfall and Siskin start to challenge the Group 4 yields, and the hard feed wheat sector has come under pressure because of these high yielding quality wheats but, suddenly, with the introduction of Gravity yielding 2 per cent higher than the top RL feeds wheats, we are seeing a real step up in yield,” he commented.
According to Mr Howell, Gravity was the highest yielding Candidate feed wheat for both years in NL1 and NL2 – in a first and second wheat situation – and was automatically selected as a Candidate because of it yielding above the top feed varieties on the RL. He said the variety comes with a good disease profile including 8 for yellow rust, 6 for brown rust and 5 for septoria, and that it also produces good grain quality with a specific weight of 76kg/hl. It has a +1 for maturity, is of medium height similar to Santiago, and comes with orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) resistance. “We think this one ticks all the boxes and we have high hopes for it,” added Mr Howell. RGT Gravity has pre-released seed available for this season with Gleadell, Dunns, Openfield, Wynnstay, Agrii and Frontier.
Consistent yielder RGT Universe is a Cassius cross with Santiago and was the highest yielding soft feed variety in NL1 and NL2, and, at 105 per cent, out performs every other soft wheat on the Recommended List as well as challenging the hard feed yields too, commented Mr Howell. “RGT Universe offers growers the chance to sow the variety early, right through until the end of January. It has a Hagberg of 174, specific weight of 75.5kg/hl and it has distilling potential for the North. “We haven’t really been in the soft Group 4 market before but our breeder, Célia, has focused on delivering a ‘soft Santiago’ that is consistently high yielding,” he added. Universe has a +2 for maturity, is quite tall and a disease resistance profile of 7 for yellow rust, 6 for septoria, 5 for
RAGT wheat breeder Célia Bequain gave visitors an insight into some of the company’s up and coming NL1 and NL2 winter wheat varieties. Potential Group 1 variety (coded) RW41620 is currently in NL1 and is a (Santiago x Panorama) x Panorama cross, yielding 1–2 per cent above Skyfall in RAGT trials. According to Célia, the variety is tall like Panorama however a PGR will manage it. It also has relatively stiff straw, she suggested, and is of similar maturity as Panorama.
RAGT wheat breeder Célia Bequain.
RW41620 has a disease resistance rating of 7 for brown rust, 5.6 for septoria and a good 5 for yellow rust although she suggested that there was no evidence of yellow rust, currently, in untreated plots. “It has good grain characteristics with the added advantage of OWBM resistance, and is probably one of the favourites for us in NL1 at the moment where it has given the best baking performance out of all varieties and above those of the control, over two years and multiple sites tested,” she explained.
Feed NL1s Of the feed varieties in NL1, Célia highlighted two that she considered stood a very good chance of making it as mainstream varieties; RW41640 and RW41663. RW41640 is a Cougar x Santiago yielding 106 per cent (1 per cent higher than Santiago in RAGT trials). An 8 for yellow rust, 7 for brown rust and 6.4 for septoria – it has good allround disease resistance plus OWBM, and very good untreated yield. continued over...
10 www.farmersguide.co.uk July 2017
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