Melanie Wardle (left) and Kathryn Hearn in a plot of Reflection.Melanie Wardle (left) and Kathryn Hearn.

Winter wheat variety Reflection is set to take up to 10% of the commercial seed market for the crop this autumn due to its high feed yield and early maturity.

This top yielder in the new HGCA Recommended List pips previous champions Kielder and Evolution and has the advantageous early harvest date of Diego.

Seed of this hard-milling feed variety, bred by Syngenta in the UK, is expected to be widely available for drilling later this year.

See also: 2015-16 Recommended List varieties show higher yields

“We are hoping to take 8-10% of the market and look to increase this as the variety gets established in future years,” Melanie Wardle, Syngenta’s wheat campaign manager, told a briefing to launch the variety.

This could put it in the number two spot for hard-milling feed wheats after the ever-reliable Diego in the market for commercial seed, which accounts for about half the total market with the other 50% coming from home-saved seed.

Duncan Warner in a plot of Reflection wheat

Duncan Warner

The Swiss breeding company says the variety is likely to take share from old mainstay varieties such as Santiago as it has 2% higher yield and earlier maturity.

Kathryn Hearn, Syngenta’s technical and solutions manager for conventional genetics, says the variety’s key feature is its early maturity as it reverses the trend of higher yields only coming from later maturing varieties.

“Its standout feature is its early maturity, and it can be five to seven days earlier to mature than Santiago in the field,” she said.

In the HGCA Recommended List 2015-16, the new variety is two days ahead to harvest than Evolution and Santiago in trials and three days ahead of Kielder, the same date as Diego and only one day later than the ultra-early maturing Gallant.

Group wheat breeder Duncan Warner said one of the group’s breeding aims was to achieve early maturing varieties after the group’s success with milling variety Gallant.

“Varieties simply can not get later and later to mature,” he said.

Reflection is the top yielder on the HGCA list at 107% – equivalent to 10.7t/ha – compared with Kielder and Evolution at 106%, Santiago at 105% and Diego at 102% in fungicide-treated trials.

Its yield also comes out ahead of these rivals in untreated trials illustrating its good disease resistance with a top score of 9 for brown rust and a 7 for mildew, although it only has moderate to good resistance to wheat’s two most important diseases, namely Septoria (5) and yellow rust (6).

“Varieties simply can not get later and later to mature.” Duncan Warner, group wheat breeder

The breeder says the variety performs well across a range of soils and geographies and does particularly well in the West, which may be linked to its stiff straw and good standing power.

The variety shows a high specific weight of 77.4kg/hl, above Evolution, Kielder and Santiago and just below Diego’s 77.7kg/hl.

Reflection is a cross between Oakley and Denman with Mr Warner saying the first gives it reliability and the latter a strong tillering ability, which produces a high number of ears.

The variety has an erect growth habit over the winter and spring, and its optimum drilling date is from September 10 to mid October, although it can be drilled until mid-February

The variety also has resistance to orange wheat blossom midge and wheat soil-borne mosaic virus.

HGCA Recommended List – Winter wheat – 2015-2016

 

Reflection

Evolution

Kielder

Santiago

Diego

Treated yield (%)

107

106

106

105

102

Maturity (days)

0

+2

+3

+2

0

Specific weight (kg/hl)

77.4

74.2

73.8

74.9

77.7

Disease resistance

Mildew

7

6

5

4

6

Yellow rust

6              

9

4

6

8

Brown rust

9

8

8

6

5

Septoria tritici

5

6

5

4

5

Fusarium

6

6

6

6

6