26 October 2001

New wheats fail to impress

MOST winter wheats vying for a place on the 2002 Recommended List have little to offer beyond current varieties.

Thats the view of British Association of Seed Producers chief executive David Buttle.

Only three of the seven candidates get a tentative thumbs-up from Mr Buttle, who fears outright yield unjustifiably outweighs agronomic features and marketability during decision making.

"Xi-19 has had an excellent advertising campaign and is worthy of recommendation. But I reckon it may not be around for more than a couple of years."

Richmond, with a Zeleny rating of 40 making it especially acceptable for export, and Chatsworth, whose grain quality is said to please northern millers, are the only other candidates catching his eye.

Access, top mean yielder in Varplan trials from 1997-2001, shows no significant advantage over Savannah, says Mr Buttle.

Macro is poor yielding, disease-prone and "misses out on export quality grain standards". Phlebas? "Sorry, we do not need another feed type while we have Savannah." Soft feed Storm? "We have Deben as the replacement for Consort. We dont need a me too!" &#42