Group 4 wheat candidate Stigg’s genetic disease resistance generated interest at Cereals, even though yield and specific weight were below average.

It was the first wheat variety in Recommended List trials to boast a rating of eight for septoria resistance and had yellow rust, brown rust and eyespot ratings to match, said Nickerson’s Bill Angus. “It also has very short, stiff straw which reduces lodging risk and it ripens slightly earlier than Solstice.”

But below-average yields meant it was most likely to appeal farmers who didn’t want the hassle of a high-maintenance Group 4, he admitted. Absence of orange wheat blossom midge resistance and a low specific weight other flaws. “It could do with a bit more yield and resistance to orange wheat blossom midge.

It was unlikely to become a market leader, but he was interested in its potential as a parent variety. “It will help bring genetic disease resistance into higher-yielding cultivars, with greater specific weight and orange wheat blossom midge resistance.”

Independent variety consultant Mike Jeffes agreed. “Stigg is interesting – it has brilliant disease resistance. However, there is a question over mildew susceptibility. “Nothing has come along with an eight for septoria and it is particularly interesting as a parent variety.”

It would be suitable for low-input systems and on mixed farms, he said. “I think people will try a bit and it will generate a lot of debate.”