Hybrid barley and a new potential bread-making wheat could ease the pressure on growers with extra cereals to sow this autumn, according to Syngenta Seeds.
 
Hybrid barley can be drilled until late October provided seed-beds are suitable, and Duxford wheat is ideally suited to later drilling, said the firm’s Simon Phillips.
 
“With talk of more cereals being planted this autumn, driven by higher grain prices and land coming out of set-aside, growers could face a bigger drilling workload than normal.
 
“That could mean drilling going on later – especially if extra time is needed to work down seed-beds after land was churned up during the wet harvest, or if growers want to let blackgrass germinate in stale seed-beds so they can spray off before planting.”
 
Hybrid barley’s vigour helps it establish quickly even in the not-so-warm conditions of later sowing, and Duxford’s rapid early growth helps it compensate for late planting by passing through growth stages quickly, he explained.

While the optimum drilling date for Boost and Bronx, the two main new high-tillering hybrids, is mid September, both can be sown until the end of October both in England and Scotland, said Mr Phillips.
 
But seed-beds must be good he stressed – hybrid barley should not be mauled into wet land – and seed rates must be correct.
 
“Optimum seed rate for Bronx is 200-230/sq m, while for Boost it is 250.
 
“Use the correct agronomy and hybrid barley should reward with high output.”

In 0.5ha Scottish farm trial plots last harvest Boost yielded 10.5t/ha and Bronx gave 10.8 t/ha, he added.

“The new hybrid, Volume, took that even further – to 11.5 t/ha.”