Xi19 has proved to be the top performing variety on high yielding sites, according to latest Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) harvest results.

But in a difficult harvest most varieties struggled to achieve quality requirements as harvest progressed, said a major plant breeder.

On sites where control varieties yielded over 10 t/ha, Xi19 proved to be the top performer in terms of yield, according to Paul Hickman of Advanta Seeds UK.

But, in a very difficult year to judge, most varieties will have suffered as harvest went on, believes Andrew Newby of CPB Twyford.

“Xi19 tends to perform best on higher yielding sites, where there is no holding back of the variety‘s potential,” said Mr Hickman.

While he acknowledged the variety had higher nitrogen requirements to satisfy yield potential, he warned growers against applying fertiliser just for increased yield.

“Farmers must apply fertiliser for quality, in order to get sufficient protein into the grain. This is the message we‘re trying to get across.”

In response to the HGCA results, Mr Newby agreed that Xi19 had performed quite well this season, but was keen to point out the range of other factors growers should consider.

“It is a much more complex story. It has been a very difficult year to judge.”

Drilling date, fluctuations in milling premium and the number of crops achieving top specification are all important factors to consider when evaluating varieties, he said.

What are your views on variety performance this year? Let us know how your varieties performed this season in our Talking Point section.