16 June 1995

New wheat set to seize multiple opportunities

MULTIPLE market opportunities from a winter wheat which compares with the best for yield is the claim for Reaper.

Like Flame and Buster, it provides farmers with more market options than conventional "feed" types, says Steve Smith of New Farm Crops.

But unlike those two varieties it offers top yield too.

"Dont get me wrong, Im not saying it will bring farmers premiums. It will secure markets, not improve prices." High Hagberg, 78kg/hl specific weight, Zeleny over 30, and "excellent" Chopin results mean it could go for biscuit, human consumption export, feed or intervention markets, he suggests.

The variety is a recommended list contender this autumn, with yield 4% ahead of Brigadier in NFC trials, and on a par in official trials.

Target market share

In the absence of fungicide it is 9% ahead of Brigadier. "Its the variety to outrank Brigadier," comments Mr Smith. Target market share is 10%.

One negative is its apparent susceptibility to the newly identified Yr9 strain of yellow rust. Accurate data is not yet available, as the variety was only moved into the infected poly-tunnel at NIAB three weeks ago. But it seems susceptible, although not as much as some lines – "down from a 9 rating to a 7 perhaps," he suggests.