3 July 1998

Hybrid wheat fails to top yield table

LAST year the first hybrid wheat likely to be commercially available in the UK was outyielded by Hussar in Suffolk trials.

When drilled at a high seed rate at Crop Cares Crop Management Centre at Saxham, the hybrid Cockpit yielded 11.8t/ha, only being beaten by Hussars 13.6t. At a lower seed rate the hybrid gave 11.1t/ha, compared with the conventionally-bred varietys 13t/ha.

"Although not the top yielder the hybrid gave 0.5t/ha more than Brigadier and quite a bit more than most other well known varieties," said Crop Cares Colin Myram says.

"We are still evaluating Cockpits economic potential, but because of the increasing interest in farm-saved seed, hybrids are not for everyone."

Yellow rust is severe in untreated Cockpit plots at Saxham, last year none was seen – but the hybrid is healthy where fungicide was used.