Impressive roll out for Group 3 variety in Herefordshire KWS Barrel looks to be a popular choice for growers in the West.
With 41 wheat varieties to choose from in this year’s AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds Recommended List, growers are spoilt for choice reckons AICC agronomist David Lines who works closely with a number of farmers across the West Midlands and Powys. “With 11 new additions to the wheat RL, there have been plenty of new options to choose from,” says Mr Lines. “Several of those who I work with grow seed for Wynnstay, so it’s been great to see which varieties are looking like real players in the field,” he adds. “At the beginning of the season the grower, Wynnstay seed sales manager Richard Torr and I sit down and discuss which varieties Wynnstay would like grown for seed, taking into consideration which would best suit the ground the grower has available for
1-32 ROP Aug.indd 28
planting. “The focus varieties this year for Richard included new entrants Shabras and Dunston, as well as KWS Siskin and KWS Barrel. Also, a strong Candidate for next year’s list and a high yielding variety RGT Gravity,” he says. Once the variety is chosen, Mr Lines then takes an active role in producing a bespoke agronomy programme for all the crops he oversees, to ensure that the varieties reach their potential yield at harvest.
Attention to detail “When growing for seed, attention to detail is paramount to ensure that a clean seedbed is produced prior to drilling and is maintained throughout the growing season,” he continues. “Although it has been a testing season due to the dry, hot weather over in the West, crops are looking well ahead of harvest. “One in particular that comes to mind is a crop of KWS Barrel grown on the Herefordshire/Powys border. It was a variety that we thought would
perform, and it hasn’t disappointed.” Mr Lines says that the Group 3 wheat variety was drilled on 24th September, on 22ha (55 acres) following peas. “The crop has been treated with 0.6 litres/ha of pre-emergence herbicide Liberator (flufenacet + DFF), followed by Pacifica (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) which was applied to deal with a ryegrass problem on the field. “A further application of Axial (pinoxaden) was needed to tidy up some remaining ryegrass and wild oats,” he adds. It has also had a full fungicide programme comprising of straight chlorothalonil at T0; chlorothalonil + epoxiconazole + Vertisan (penthiopyrad) at T1; 1.25-litres/ha of Adexar (epoxiconazole + fluxapyroxad) + chlorothalonil at T2; and Proline (prothioconazole) at T3. “The weather, although unsettled at times, did allow us to get fungicide sprays on at the right growth stage this year,” says Mr Lines. Outlining the fertiliser programme, he says that the crop has had 190kg/ha of nitrogen. “The grower regularly applies broiler
litter, so this means that there is little need for P and K fertiliser, and nitrogen applications tend to be on the low side allowing for the nitrogen from the muck. “With the constant monitoring that I do with the grower, soil tests indicate that we have organic matter levels around 6–8 per cent,” he says. “Some of the land has been in continuous wheat for 13 years and average yields are 9.9t/ha, but inclusion of OSR and pulses in the rotation to suit the Basic Payment Scheme, and an increasing grass weed problem, may alter yields in future years. “So far, the crop looks good, and will hopefully perform well come harvest.” Wynnstay seed sales manager, Richard Torr adds that KWS Barrel is predicted to dominate the Group 3 market. “It provides growers with stiff straw and a very good yellow rust score, along with resistance to orange wheat blossom midge, though Septoria will need watching,” says Mr Torr. “It also offers the highest yield in its sector at 103 per cent of control, so we expect to see good results in sheds come harvest.” ■