30 June 1995

Recommended varieties in force at Cereals West

By Robert Davies

CEREALS West, organised by NIAB and staged at Harper Adams College, had a disappointing turnout last week.

But those who visited the site near Newport in Shropshire found the largest range of recommended and candidate variety plots the region has seen – including winter and spring cereals, spring beans and peas.

Event organiser Edric Broom, NIABs regional trials officer at the college, concentrated on winter wheats suitable for the west. Likely competitors for the hugely successful variety Riband were his main aim.

Growers have learned to cope with Ribands disease susceptibility, especially to septoria, he said. But producers wanting a good nights sleep and lower fungicide costs should consider alternatives, he urged.

Moderate resistance

Consort, also from PBI Cambridge, had moderate disease resistance and yielded slightly better, especially in untreated plots, he said.

Its biscuit-making quality compared well. It could find favour with customers who buy Riband by name and pay a premium price for it, he suggested.

Hunter has good septoria resistance but not the same biscuit-making quality. However, like Hussar, it continues to look like a good feed variety.

Marketing opportunities

The popularity of the high yielding, short-strawed feed wheat Brigadier could grow. But as a hard milling wheat it did not have the marketing opportunities of Riband and Consort, he said.

Caxton was the only candidate for the recommended list with true bread making quality. It promises quality and yields like Hereward. There are also indications that feed varieties Charger and Chianti had some bread making potential, he added.

"My advice to growers in the west is to take note of the disease situation, local market requirements and NIAB information," Mr Broom said.

His Bridgets-based colleague Peter Shipway told growers there were several very promising provisionally recommended and candidate winter barleys.

Heavier land potential

He was particularly enthusias- tic about the yield and malting quality of provisionally recommended Fanfare and the heavier land potential of the very stiff-strawed Angora, which had respectable malting quality and could reach the NIAB list next autumn.

"It could be a vintage year for new malting varieties."

The general feeling about oats was that they were still very important in the west. But interest in them had waned because milling markets had not developed as quickly as some had forecast. Future sowings might also be affected by competition from Sweden.

The main naked oat variety Kynon was being challenged by Harpoon and Krypton. But there was no obvious advance in husked oats. &#42