28 December 2001

Quartet of new varieties debut on 2002 List

As the days begin to lengthen, so the case for a spring crop

will strengthen. Spread workload, better weed control and

easier cashflow all add weight to strong gross margin

arguments that the late-sown winter crop has to go. But

what to sow? In this special feature we report two Yorks

growers spring wheat experience, assess the best spring

break, and ask which cereal you should grow. But first,

Andrew Blake reports on the spring debutants in the

Recommended List. Edited by Andrew Swallow

FOUR new varieties have made it on to the 2002 UK Recommended Lists for spring sown cereals, oilseed rape and peas.

The only new cereal is Spire, a potential malting barley. Offering a good step forward in yield, 3% above Static – the best feed type – and 7% more than Optic, maltsters still have to make up their minds whether it meets their needs.

NIAB gives it an 8 for malting on the 1-9 scale. But last years list addition County also rates an 8 and failed to attract UK maltsters, says the SACs David Cranstoun.

However, even if Spire suffers the same fate here, it could have export potential for use in Continental brewing, he believes.

Monsanto PBICs John Howie says its stablemate Prestige, which never reached RL trials, has been launched in several EU countries from Spain to Sweden and recently joined Carlsbergs list of preferred varieties.

Mr Howie estimates about 1000t of seed should be available for 2002 through the Prism Group and Grainfarmers.

"I do not think it will be a malter," says Tim Hirst, of Grainfarmers. "I see it as just a high yielding feed."

Spire is slightly shorter than Optic and has better mildew resistance. But it is no earlier and is equally weak against rhynchosporium. Rust resistance is about the same. Spires bonus is resistance to BYDV.

There are no newly recommended spring wheats for spring sowing, nor any new oats. But OSR growers can choose from two newcomers – Heros and Dorothy.

Both are conventional types. Concept is the only fully recommended spring hybrid left on the 2002 list and there are supply questions over that (see p37).

Heros heads the list on gross output, beating Senator and last years newcomer Haydn by 1%. Dorothy is 4% adrift but stands better and is earlier, making it a safer option for growers in the north, says NIABs oilseeds specialist Simon Kightley.

Like Senator, Heros is quite late to ripen, but it has nearly 1% higher oil content and lower glucosinolates.

Pea growers have only one new name this spring. Venture, from Norfolk-based Genesis, is a large blue matching Nitouche for yield. It is slightly shorter, but its standing and ease of combining ratings are only 7 compared to Nitouches 8s.

Venture has good resistance to downy mildew, offering scope to dispense with seed dressing against it. It also resists pea wilt. &#42

Two new spring oilsed rapes have burst on to the Recommended List, one offering top output, says NIABs Simon Kightley.


Output

Conventional vars

Senator (G) 107

Estrade (G) 103

Sprinter (S) 97

Heros (PG) 108

Haydn (PG) 107

Mozart (PG) 106

Dorothy (PG) 104

Liaison (O) 103

Maskot (O) 100

Hybrid varieties

(varietal associations)

Concept (S) 100

Mistral (O) 105

Jura (O) 103

Liquido (O) 102

Corsair (O) 101

Will Spire inspire the maltsters? That is the question being asked by David Cranstoun of the SAC at Edinburgh.

Spire Top yield, maybe malting barley.

Heros Highest output OSR.

Dorothy Early OSR for north.

Venture Large blue pea to challenge Nitouche.


Variety Yield IOB malting

status

Static (G) 104

Riviera (G) 102

Decanter (G) 100 Approved in NE

& NW

Optic (G) 100 Approved in UK

Chalice (RG) 101 Approved in NE

& NW

Spire (PG) 107

County (PG) 105

Cellar (PG) 103 Provisionally

approved in UK

Pewter (PS) 103

Tavern (RPG) 104 Provisionally

approved in C,

SE & SW

Prisma (O) 96 Approved in NE

& NW

Chariot (O) 93 Approved in UK


Variety Yield rating

Croma (G) 103

Arrow (G) 103

Nitouche (G) 100

Agadir (G) 99

Espace (G) 99

Venture (PG) 100

Princess (S) 89

Supra (S) 83

Maro (S) 77

Samson (PS) 88

Three linseeds join Descriptive list

Three new names appear on the linseed Descriptive list: Talon, Virgo and Early Bird. There is little to choose between them on yield, all three falling in behind current leaders Juliet (117), Biltstar (110) and Oscar (108), but Early Bird has a rating of 6 for earliness, the figure growers should really be aiming for, suggests Mr Kightley. Talon and Virgo score 5 for earliness.