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11-12 June 2025 

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CEREA;S

04 Jun 2024

RAGT highlights the latest BYDV-resistant wheats at Cereals 2024

RAGT SEEDS LTD Stand: 608
RAGT Stand at Cereals 2023

 

BYDV-resistant wheats will take centre stage on RAGT Seeds’ stand at Cereals 2024, backed up by a strong showing of conventional wheats, barleys, oats and triticale and the latest varieties from the company’s revamped oilseed rape breeding programme.

 

RAGT’s Genserus (BYDV-resistant) wheats are the only commercially available winter wheat varieties in Europe that resist the effects of this potentially devastating disease.

 

“BYDV resistance is really important in wheat,” says RAGT Seeds managing director Lee Bennett. “The aphids which carry the virus are the biggest single pest of winter cereals in the UK and the most economically damaging to the crop.

 

“For now we've lost neonicotinoid seed treatments, leaving pyrethroids as the only means of inorganic control.

 

“Given the weather we had, you have to ask how many people have actually managed to apply any pyrethroids to their autumn cereals. I would say most of the UK winter wheat crop this season is completely unprotected from BYDV.”

 

Current commercial Genserus varieties include high-yielding feed wheat RGT Grouse, and RGT Goldfinch, a high-quality wheat with breadmaking potential which will be available to growers this autumn.

 

Both these varieties are also resistant to orange wheat blossom midge, giving growers a great opportunity to grow insecticide-free wheat and to qualify for a £45/ha payment under the IPM standard of SFI.

 

RAGT breeds practically every cereal species there is, says Lee. “This year we’ll be showing some triticale, which I think really stacks up in light land situations and especially where it is grown for AD.

 

“We also have winter barley, a relatively new species for us, and spring barley. The UK market is also very important for oats, both spring and winter, and is dominated by mainly one or two varieties. We’re very close to giving those a run for their money.

 

 

“I’m also genuinely very excited by what our new oilseed rape pipeline holds. RGT Kanzzas is a stunning variety – it jumps out the ground in the autumn and it’s spring growth is fantastic. It's a variety that never ever looks bad, it's light spot resistant is practically unsurpassed and it is pod shatter resistant.”

 

RGT Blackmoon suits less fertile or exposed sites, or where drilling is going to be late, where early, strong vigour is crucial, he adds. It has very good phoma resistance and is resistant to TUYV.

 

RGT Ceos is also very vigorous and delivers a strong disease-resistance package, including RAGT’s unique source of TuYV resistance, along with excellent resistance towards pod shatter and very stiff straw, supporting very high yields.

 

“The future of OSR for RAGT is a very bright one, but the future of OSR for the UK farmer is, I accept slightly greyer than it used to be,” says Lee.

 

“But we should never forget that there is an embedded market demand for domestically grown oil in the UK and right now we are surviving on imports, so if you have the will to grow oilseed rape there's always going to be a willing domestic buyer.”

 

RAGT Seeds is exhibiting on stand 608 at Cereals 2024, which takes place on 11-12 June at Bygrave Woods. Hertfordshire (https://www.cerealsevent.co.uk)

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