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Introducing Autumn Seeds 2020

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Introducing Autumn Seeds 2020
By Wynnstay Arable Team 24 days ago

We go into autumn 2020 with the optimism that we can put autumn 2019 behind us. The challenging wet weather from the end of September 2019 up until March has severely hampered autumn drilling and some crops have struggled with the conditions. There has been a significant increase in spring cropping which, although doesn’t have the yield potential of autumn-sown, there is hope that the lower inputs can still lead to profitable crops.

Moving onto this autumn we are aware that there will be over-yeared seed on-farm which will hopefully have no problems in terms of germination, particularly as last harvest it was a relatively high thousand grain weight year. However, we would encourage germination tests to be done on each seed lot on farm to check the viability and that seed rates can be adjusted accordingly.

Not only have commercial drillings been affected but so too have seed crops across the country. On the back of this there will still be enough seed available to service customers, but popular varieties will sell out. With this in mind it is worth covering seed tonnage early so as not to be disappointed by variety choice.

On to more optimistic topics, there are some exciting new wheat varieties available this year. KWS Extase, which sold out last year, will be available in larger quantities. The tremendous septoria tritici score and the fact it has no real weakness will have strong appeal particularly with the loss of chlorothalonil. SY Insitor and RGT Saki are also newly available; both of which are high-yielding feed wheats with extremely strong disease packages. Another unique variety available will be KWS Parkin, which is a potential Grafton replacement with its short straw, early maturity and higher yield potential. We do still expect Gleam and Graham to be popular due to their all-round package as well as LG Skyscraper with its highest yield. The Group 1 variety choices will still be KWS Zyatt, Skyfall and Crusoe with no new varieties available in this sector. In terms of varieties to watch, there is RGT Wolverine which is a candidate variety with BYDV resistance and should come into its own with the loss of Deter, we are very excited at the launch of this into the market next year.

On the barley front, KWS Hawking would be our pick of the new 2-row feed types as it is the highest yielding variety available and only 2% behind the hybrid barley Bazooka in terms of yield. There are also some very rounded 2-row options available such as Valerie (high untreated yield, extremely good specific weight, with very stiff straw) and Surge, which again has a very sound agronomic package, providing the consistency growers are looking for. SY Kingsbarn should become the most popular hybrid barley this year due to an increased seed supply and it has one of the highest specific weights on the Recommended List. SY Thunderbolt will also be available in small quantities, a new hybrid candidate with a very high yield potential. It is also exciting that there will be a couple of varieties with BYDV tolerance available, with our pick being the 6-row conventional feed barley Sensation. Malting barley Craft will be popular again, please contact GrainLink, our specialist grain marketing business, if you are looking for any forward contracts.

Oilseed rape has had a multitude of challenges on farm, particularly surrounding establishment with issues regarding moisture and cabbage stem fl ea 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. 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 newly recommended Dazzler, a high-yielding hybrid from DSV with excellent agronomics that has resistance to Turnip Yellow Virus. It will also be packed in 1.8mil seed packs rather than 1.5mil seed packs with this additional seed coming at no extra cost. LG Aviron also looks to be a stand out new Hybrid candidate from Limagrain which is showing tremendous autumn vigour, that should come into its own with the current climate.

Looking from alternative break crops to oilseed rape we do expect the area of winter beans to continue growing, particularly if the feed bean price holds up. In terms of other species they are slightly more limited with feasibility, the area of oats should rise, but this is not a true break crop. In the west there will potentially be more grass leys sown and more maize as alternative forage feeds, but in the east there is not as much flexibility. The AD market has seen increases in maize and hybrid rye, but again the supply and demand nature of this market can make it difficult to build a long-term crop rotation around this.

Within the Autumn Seeds 2020 brochure we have a complete guide to autumn crops, advice on crop protection and fertiliser. Alongside this, 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.