Cereals: The Arable Event

Rust resistance adds to Costello's appeal

05-Apr-2017 Senova

Wheat growers attending this year’s Cereals Event to look at varieties have another good reason to opt for Senova’s popular hard feed variety Costello.

Latest results from the disease monitoring project UKCPVS show that Costello is one of only three recommended winter wheat varieties to maintain its guard against yellow rust at all growth stages, despite enormous diversity in the yellow rust population.

This finding means that Costello, with both seedling and adult plant resistance, is almost unique among the feed wheats, adding overall yellow rust resistance to an established list of impressive credentials.

Having taken 5% market share in 2016 in its first commercial year, it is already recognised by growers and their advisers for its combination of high yields, outstanding grain quality and lower growing costs.

Now they can have every confidence in its good resistance to yellow rust, even though there is huge variation within the pathogen population and new races of the disease have been confirmed.

“While other varieties have seen their yellow rust resistance ratings fall after succumbing to higher than expected levels of disease, Costello has been shown to be one of a very small group that has resistance at both the seedling and the adult plant stages, keeping its 9 rating for 2017,” reports Senova’s commercial director, Jeremy Taylor.

“That, together with its other robust disease resistance ratings and agronomic characteristics, gives Costello an obvious place on-farm as a low risk, easy-to-manage variety.”

Fungicide costs of below £100/ha are realistic in most seasons, while premium-earning opportunities are also a distinct possibility, due to its grain quality, he adds.

“Costello has the highest grain specific weight of all the varieties on the AHDB Recommended List at 80.1kg/hl, as well as the best Hagberg of all the Group 2, 3 and 4 varieties at 326.”

That gives it some marketing flexibility and an in-built safety margin, which helps in the current volatile trading environment and with the unpredictable weather, he notes.

“There has been a swing to Group 1 and 2 varieties, as growers look to secure premiums and get the best of both worlds. But that market is now over-supplied, so premiums have fallen away and feed wheat is competing very well.”

Mr Taylor continues by pointing out that Costello’s high untreated yield of 85 shows that the variety has the ability to withstand disease pressure, giving more choice with fungicide regimes and allowing rate reductions in certain situations.

“It’s also a short, stiff variety, which is yet another factor in its favour. Some of the more recent feed wheat additions to the list don’t have the same resistance to lodging, so haven’t had that initial grower support.”

Costello joined the AHDB Recommended List in 2015, seven years after Senova’s other hard feed wheat variety, JB Diego, made its debut.

“JB Diego’s track record speaks for itself,” ends Mr Taylor. “It is still one of the most successful winter wheat varieties, having performed very well across sites and seasons for some years.”

Costello is in a similar mould and should enjoy the same longevity, as it brings the right balance to modern faming businesses, he predicts.

To find out more about Costello and for the chance to win a tonne of Costello seed, visit the Senova stand, number 913, at Cereals ’17.


For further information contact Jeremy Taylor on 01223 890777 or 07968 108341, or visit the Senova stand number 913




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