NEW SEPTORIA-RESISTING wheat Alchemy will be available a year earlier than planned this autumn, says Nickerson.

The move follows concerns over the rise of Septoria tritici resistant to strobilurin fungicides.

“The main driver behind this variety is the need to uprate the Septoria profile of UK crops,” says senior wheat breeder Bill Angus. In 2003/04 National List trials it scored 121% of controls for untreated yield, and 8 and 7 for S. nodorum and S. tritici resistance.

Mr Angus expects the group 4 soft feed UKS variety to account for 2-3% of wheat sowings this autumn and 10-15% in 2006.