Cereals: The Arable Event

What Cereal and OSR varieties to plant in Autumn 2017?

21-Apr-2017 by: David Bouch

What cereal and OSR variety options should you be considering for planting in autumn 2017, especially as so many new ones having found their way onto the AHDB recommended list?

 

David Bouch – Hutchinsons Seed Manager – considers some of the varieties that stand out and could be worth trying.  David has chosen a range of options according to the output types that you might find most suitable to grow according to your farm location, soil type and climate.

 

Winter Wheat

“There are several winter wheat varieties that look very good and I would put on my short-list for drilling this autumn – notably KWS Zyatt, LG Sundance, Shabras, and Dunston to name but a few. My eye has also been caught by the RGT varieties Universe and Gravity which are on the grey candidate list as well.  Their key features (detailed below) would bring a range of options and uses to any farms cropping plan, which spreads risk across several varieties and output uses.

 

Variety

NABIM/Group

Yield Expectations

Key Features

KWS Zyatt

Group 1

(bread-making)

Excellent yields, in both 1st and 2nd wheat positions

Good disease scores & Pch1 eyespot resistance

KWS Barrel

Group 3 (soft - for biscuit or export)

Very high yields at Northern sites & high yield on lighter soils

Good yellow rust and OWBM resistance + short, stiff straw

LG Sundance

Group 4

(soft - for export)

High yields in both treated and untreated AHDB trials

Highest varietal resistance to Septoria tritici (AHDB list)

Shabras

Group 4

(hard – feed)

Highest yield performance on medium & light soil types

Excellent resistance against mildew and yellow rust

Dunston

Group 4

(hard – feed)

Highest “untreated” yield in AHDB variety trials

High specific wt.(76.4kg/hl) & high S. tritici resistance

RGT Universe

Group 4 (soft - for feed or distilling)

Highest yielding soft wheat in NL1 & NL2

Hagberg 174 & 75.6kh/hl - attractive to compounders

RGT Gravity

Group 4

(hard – feed)

Highest yielding variety on AHDB candidate list

76kg/hl specific weight easily exceeds minimum feed market standards

 

New to the market last year (with a very limited tonnage) was KWS Barrel, a soft group 3 with a consistent UK yield and very high yields in the North. It is suitable for both soft export and UK biscuit markets. It is equally capable as a first or second wheat and has performed very well on lighter soils.

 

KWS Barrel is less suitable for areas of the country where Septoria pressures are very high, but it has useful rust scores and also offers resistance to OWBM. With soft wheats having declined from 53% of the market share in 2002 to 18% currently in the ground for harvest 2017 (of which only 6% are group 3 varieties) I feel there are opportunities to grow a variety which has very good yields and can offer a potentially useful premium.

 

There will be limited availability on some of these key varieties and taking some cover on them should be the preferred option.

 

Oilseed Rape

Although the impact of cabbage stem flea beetle has seen the area grown across the UK diminish, I am still confident about OSR in the arable rotation and its ability to deliver a robust gross margin.            There are half a dozen varieties that would be of consideration, where rapid establishment and early vigour are important characteristics. I would also look to select varieties identified as being particularly suited to your specific region of the country. 

 

Select two or three different varieties to give breadth of genetic material in your planting programme.  Opt for varieties with strong early growth and vigorous establishment, so they have the best potential to grow away from damage that may come from pigeons, slugs or CSFB attack.

 

Variety

Type

Region

Comments

Campus

Conventional

UK

Open pollinated variety featuring good autumn vigour – performed well in 2016/17 with increased gross output

DK Exalte

Hybrid

North

Not on AHDB recommended list, yet a consistent performer + good agronomic traits - vigorous autumn & spring growth habit

Architect

Hybrid

UK

First restored hybrid with Turnip Yellows Virus resistance – and an AHDB candidate variety

Anastasia

Conventional

North

Strong agronomic characteristics, including rapid autumn development and good gross output

Arrow

Hybrid

UK

Candidate for RL 2017/18 with the highest agronomic merit score – good oil and high yielding with pod shatter resistance (rated 7 for LLS and 8 for Stem Canker resistance)

DK Secret

Hybrid   Semi-Dwarf

UK

Semi Dwarf varieties may have an increasing role within OSR programmes if pre-harvest desiccants have greater restriction in the future. Possesses traits of anti-pod shatter coupled with excellent disease resistance

 

Currently the price for OSR is around £350/t and with an oil premium of 1.5% of the contract price for every 1% of oil content above 40% you could soon add in another £25-£28/t, pushing towards £380/t.  As a rule of thumb if oilseed rape prices are approaching two-and-a-half times the price of wheat then it should stack up well in most rotations. Equally importantly are the rotational benefits the crop can bring.

 

Winter Barley

Winter barley has multiple end-use options and these need to match the soil type, climate and quality potential of your farm.  Breeders have advanced barley yield potential (especially with hybrid varieties) as well as their vigour which has been used to assist with black grass management through competition to the weed.  The variety options below would feature on my short-list of options.

 

Variety

Use

Yield Expectations

Key Features

Surge

2-row Feed

High yielding

Good all round resistance, especially strong on mildew & Rhynchosporium

KWS Orwell

2-row Feed

High yielding

Good brackling resistance & stiff strawed – (needs support for mildew control)

Bazooka

6-row Feed (Hybrid)

Very high yielding

Increasingly used for suppression of blackgrass

Sunningdale

6-row Feed (Hybrid)

Very high yielding

Highest yields of any variety in the North

Libra

6-row Feed (Hybrid)

High yield

Has exceptional specific weight of 69.9kg/hl

Craft

2-row Malting

Highest yielding malting barley available

Provisionally recommended by the IBD

KWS Glacier

2-row Feed

High yield

Consistent variety – reliable in all areas of UK

 

Final Thoughts…. There are many varieties and considerations to be made across the arable spectrum. Please feel free to seek further varietal advice this autumn from your Hutchinsons agronomist and or the seed team in the coming months.

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