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Even more Robust and Plentiful Autumnal Seeds to Choose From

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Even more Robust and Plentiful Autumnal Seeds to Choose From
By Jonathan Baxendale 17 days ago

Exciting additions to the ‘recommended list’ have raised the bar this year, in terms of both yield and disease resistance, making autumn seeds robust and plentiful.

KWS Extase has rightly been grabbing the majority of the headlines with its fantastic septoria tritici and extremely high untreated yield.

There has been such a great response to it, that there won’t be enough supply to meet demand this year.

There is also a new highest-yielding wheat - LG Skyscraper - plus some now-established wheats, that we still expect to be very popular- the 3 G’s, Gleam, RGT Gravity and Graham.

From a quality wheat point of view, milling wheats will still be popular with varieties like RGT Skyfall and KWS Zyatt competing with most feed wheats on farm.

We also have a new biscuit wheat - KWS Firefly - which again raises the bar in terms of septoria tritici. It is refreshing to see another variety with two 8’s for standing come onto the list. On the barley front, there is a range of new two-row feed types that are closing the gap on the hybrid yield advantage.

Our pick of the 2 row options are Valerie, the highest untreated yield, with an extremely good specific weight and very stiff strawed, and Surge, which has a very sound agronomic package, providing the consistency growers are looking for.

SY Kingsbarn is an exciting new addition on the hybrid front, having one of the highest specific weights on the recommended list, as well as being both stiffer strawed and higher yielding than the current favourite, Bazooka.

It is also exciting that there will be a couple of varieties with BYDV tolerance available, with more expected to come through which are more suited for UK conditions.

There will be new challenges with the loss of Deter (clothianidin) and chlorothalonil (for ramularia and Septoria tritici).

But it is pleasing to see that this year, particularly with chlorothalonil, that we have the variety with the highest septoria tritici resistance ever seen, along with others with very good resistance.

Oilseed rape has had a multitude of challenges on farm, particularly surrounding establishment, with issues regarding moisture and cabbage stem flea beetle. On the back of this breeders are selecting more vigorous varieties and there are seed treatments available which have been shown to improve vigour. Perhaps what is more intriguing are some establishment schemes which are now available. The KOEP (KWS oilseed establishment partnership) has been set up in line with the conventional variety Blazen which has been specifically selected for its autumn vigour.

Here KWS, Wynnstay and the grower are sharing the risk of the crop with a significantly lower up front seed cost and the rest only payable if the crop is established by the 1st November. We are hopeful this sharing of risk will help maintain oilseed rape as the go-to break crop.

Seed of Speed

In terms of other varieties we still expect ‘the seed with speed’ Campus to be hugely popular, as it is a consistent variety that just keeps performing year on year. There are other options to consider such as Dazzler, a new high yielding hybrid candidate from DSV with excellent agronomics that has resistance to Turnip Yellow Virus, as well as DK Expedient from Dekalb, which has shown tremendous spring vigour, which will again come into its own with the current climate.

From a seed treatment point of view, it is disappointing to see that we have lost Deter, Thiram, Mesurol and now Austral Plus is the next on the list.

Seed treatments present the perfect method of accurately targeting small doses of active ingredient to efficiently combat the target pest or disease. The alternative, if one exists, is often a blanket spray approach, using much higher rates of active ingredients delivered less precisely.

We do however have some alternatives, which should hopefully offer optimism and can be found in our Autumn Seeds Brochure. Within this brochure, we have a complete guide to autumn crops, along with advice on crop protection and fertiliser. Our Arable Team and Arable Specialists are on hand to offer advice on all aspects of crop production, ensuring you achieve the best yields possible.

In terms of wheat varieties, it is pleasing to see that there are a multitude of options which growers can consider that don’t have any real weakness, by having very good yield packages and agronomics.

With malting barleys, Craft had a good year last year and we think this year will be the same.

Jonathan Baxendale

Jonathan Baxendale

Combinable Seed Product Manager