9 February 1996

Breeders money is on unlisted runner

GROWERS seeking a winter wheat with grain suitable for UK bread-making and export should consider Charger. Thats the view of breeder PBI Cambridge which has launched the high yielding, hard milling variety despite its failure to achieve NIAB recommendation last autumn.

Charger, which was competing with the likes of the newly recommended Caxton and Reaper, matures early, has good disease resistance and is suitable for late sowing, says PBIC.

It originally entered trials as a feed type, results indicating high Hagberg and a treated yield ahead of Riband, but not quite matching Brigadier. Specific weight at 77.5kg/hl though is better than both.

A recommendation decision was deferred for a year after it was found to have some bread-making potential, explains NIABs Richard Fenwick. "It could fall into group 2 on the NABIM list, but we need more information."

PBIC reckons there were 252t of C1 Charger seed certified in 1995, against 960t of Reaper but only 140t of Caxton.

&#8226 The company has also introduced a new winter oilseed rape, said to have the highest stem canker resistance of all current commercial varieties.

Corniches treated yield in 1994-95 National and Recommended List trials was 106% of controls – better than those presently listed, says the firms Mike Bearman.

Even late September sowings do not adversely affect that potential, he claims.

Good overall resistance, with a score of 7 against stem canker – "potentially the most important disease of oilseed rape" – is reflected in the companys own untreated trials where Corniche outyielded Apex by 4% last season.