18 September 1998

Ave yields up in NIAB treated w wheat trials

A WINTER wheat first recommended in the 1980s has matched the second highest yielding variety in official trials harvested to date.

Average yields in NIAB fungicide treated winter wheat trials to date are over 1t/ha (0.4t/acre) better than last year. With 14 of the 24 UK sites harvested, average yield is 9.89t/ha (4t/acre) against the 1994-98 mean of 9.73t/ha (3.9t/acre).

Disease and extensive lodging drove untreated yields, at 5.5t/ha (2.2t/acre), over 2t/ha (0.8t/acre) below the long term mean, according to the latest issue of VarPlan 99.

Top performer in treated trials is Savannah, consistently high yielding at all sites and bettering its long term mean, which was already 2% better than all others, by 3%.

Joint next best this year, so far, are Equinox and Riband, the latter first listed in 1989 showing the biggest improvement of all on its long term mean. Closely following are Consort, Harrier and Madrigal.

Cereals specialist Richard Fenwick cannot account for Ribands unusual performance. "Some seasons just seem to suit some varieties," he ventures.

Varieties doing markedly less well than previously are Soissons and Abbot, 5% and 4% off their 1994-98 averages. "This is the second relatively poor year for provisionally recommended bread-maker Abbot. It still outyields Hereward but looks increasingly uncompetitive," says Mr Fenwick.

Rialto, 3% down, has also disappointed, with low Hagbergs and several cases of ergot. It also seems to have suffered more from lodging, he notes. Others standing less well than expected include Abbot, Equinox, Savannah and Soissons. But Madrigal stood very well. &#42

YELLOW RUST

Provisional yellow rust ratings remain much as last year. Consorts score goes up from 7 to 9, reflecting the absence of a repeat of infection seen in artificially inoculated trials in 1994, explains pathologist Rosemary Bayles. Last year Equinox and Madrigal both scored four – this year their ratings are five and three, respectively.

Winter wheat fungicide treated

Variety Current 5 year Interim mean mean 94-98 yield 98

t/ha t/ha

Control 9.68 9.89

Recommended varieties

Reaper 102 103

Hussar 102 101

Rialto 103 100

Consort 102 104

Riband 100 105

Hereward 93 92

Spark 93 91

Buster 100 98

Soissons 94 89

Savannah 106 109

Harrier 104 104

Madrigal 104 104

Equinox 103 105

Charger 102 103

Abbot 98 94

Brigadier 103 103

Beaufort 102 –

Cadenza 96 95

Caxton 97 99

Candidate varieties

Cantata 102 100

Aardvark 103 103

Buchan 102 101

Claire 102 103

Malacca 97 100

Shamrock 98 96

Shango 101 103

Other varieties

Blaze 105 104

Chaucer 102 103

Maverick 104 101