27 November 1998

Plenty aboard 1999 List

There is little let-up in the flow

of useful new combinable

crop varieties filtering

through the HGCA/PGRO

levy-funded testing system,

supported by NIAB, SAC and

DANI. Andrew Blake

reviews changes to the UK

Recommended Lists for 1999


FOUR of seven varieties vying for recommendation join the 1999 list.

The additions, coming after two extremely testing seasons with severe disease and lodging pressure, should serve the industry well, says the National Institute of Agricultural Botanys John Ramsbottom.

"The material that has squeezed through in these difficult years is clearly better and should reduce risk for growers at a time when they can ill afford it."

Claire from Nickerson, rightly takes its place as a soft milling biscuit/export/distilling type, says Mr Ramsbottom. "It should be seen as a progression from Riband and Consort." It has Consorts yield and straw strength but better disease resistance, except to mildew which is relatively easy to control, he explains. "This variety is clearly an advance."

CPB Twyfords Malacca is a hard milling breadmaker which has already gained millers confidence through significant commercial exposure. Pinpointed as a Group 1 variety by NABIM it outyields Hereward by 5%, has stiff straw and is top listed for Hagberg on 374. "That is truly exceptional considering the season it has been through," says Mr Ramsbottom. It has good solid disease resistance and is early ripening, he adds. Specific weight, at 75.8, is just below the generally accepted standard. "But you cant get much closer and it should not be a major problem."

Shamrock from Advanta is a potential breadmaker matching Malacca for yield. Industry evaluation of its 8 rating continues, but is very promising, says Mr Ramsbottom. Its untreated yield, the best on the list, reflects sound across the board disease defences, though provisional eyespot rating is only 4. Protein and specific weight are high.

Nickersons second winner, Buchan, is a soft miller outyielding Riband with attributes for both export and distilling. The latter quality, combined with a straw strength of 9 matching Buster and Equinox, and very good specific weight, make it well suited to the north where the ravages of lodging have been considerable. "There was a strong plea for it to be added and it has a ready market."

A decision on Aardvark has been deferred for more information on its quality and some agronomic characters. Neither Cantata nor Shango merited recommendation.

Among other changes Madrigal and Equinox become fully recommended.

Group 2 Charger gets the same accolade, albeit with a special use tag for late sowing. "It is not a September-drilled mainline winter wheat. But planted later it has challenged many existing varieties used in that slot and has produced good quality." Standing power is only 5, but later sowing reduces its lodging risk, notes Mr Ramsbottom.

Hussar, Soissons and Spark, along with Abbot, over which millers have expressed disquiet (Arable Nov 20), all slip into the outclassed category.


ALL four candidates, three two-rows and one six-row, gained recommendation.

Each excels in its own field and could revive interest in a crop which undoubtedly experienced a difficult 1998, according to NIABs Richard Fenwick.

"We have got some excellent new varieties which offer great hopes for the future."

Pearl, a high yielding malter from Nickerson, has yet to be approved by the Institute of Brewing, but merits a provisional 9 for malt extract potential. "Malt extra potential" replaces "Malting grade" in the new Recommended Lists as a more useful guide to both maltsters and growers, says the SACs barley specialist, David Cranstoun.

Until Pearl no other variety has matched Regina for treated yield, says Mr Fenwick.

"Pearl has done it, and it has a much better untreated yield. It is fairly long in the straw and not as stiff as Regina, but manageable." It has much better mildew resistance but is slightly weaker against net blotch. "It has big bold grain and is an excellent new variety to rival the dominance of Regina."

High yield and top straw stiffness are the main strengths of CPB Twyfords feed variety Heligan. It outyields Pastoral by 2% and matches Vertige, the firms 1998 newcomer. "It is extremely stiff, which is just the attribute you want in a feed barley," says Mr Fenwick. "You can raise the nitrogen to really get the best yields out of the variety. Apart from mildew, which you would have to watch, it has excellent disease resistance."

Specific weight at 54.8kg/hl is better even than Intros. "It has a huge bold grain which is just what a lot of home feed users want."

Flute, another bold-grained feed, from PBI Cambridge, does not quite match Heligan for treated yield, being on a par with Pastoral. But durable disease resistance ratings no lower than 8, reflected in top untreated two-row performance, mean growers will be able to lower fungicide inputs, says Mr Fenwick. "It will give you peace of mind that that genetic background resistance is helping, particularly if spraying conditions are bad or a pesticide tax comes."

Nickersons other newcomer, French-bred six-row Angela, outyields previous top yielder Muscat by 2% and Manitou by 5%. "It has long straw but is extremely stiff which is quite novel for a six-row." Good disease defences give it an untreated yield 10% higher than all others bar Flute, and it has the bonus of BYMV resistance. Grain quality lies between Muscat and Manitou.

Among other changes malter Melanies special recommendation becomes restricted to the north-east instead of the whole of the UK. Last years newcomer Jewel, with the advantage of BYMV resistance, moves from having special to general provisional recommendation. BYMV resister Epic becomes outclassed.


New winter wheats

&#8226 Claire (PG) – Soft milling edge on Consort. Mildew weakness.

&#8226 Malacca (PG) – Top Hagberg early ripening breadmaker.

&#8226 Shamrock (PG) – High protein hard miller. Good untreated yield.

&#8226 Buchan (RPG) – Very stiff, soft distilling variety for north.

Note: PG, PS & RPG = Provisionally

recommended for general, special and

regional use, respectively.

New winter barleys

&#8226 Pearl (PG) – Malter. Regina yield + better disease resistance.

&#8226 Heligan (PG) – Very stiff feed. Vertige yield. Mildew susceptible.

&#8226 Flute (PG) – Feed with out-standing disease resistance.

&#8226 Angela (PG) – Tall six-row feed outyielding Manitou by 2%.

New winter oats

&#8226 Kingfisher (PG) – Joint top for yield. Tall, weakish straw.

&#8226 Viscount (PS) – Excellent crown rust resistance. Mildew prone.


TWO new varieties join the list, both bred by IGER and marketed by Semundo.

Kingfisher, matching Jalna as top yielder, has useful resistance to both mildew and crown rust. It is a combination which accounts for top untreated yield, according to DANIs Ethel White. "But we do have to be a bit careful with its long straw which is on the weak side." Grain quality should interest millers, she suggests.

Viscount is shorter and earlier with outstanding crown rust resistance, rated 9, which partly accounts for its special recommendation. But mildew resistance of only 3 is a major concern, warns Dr White. Grain quality is acceptable.

Emperor and Solva are dropped from the list.

Among naked types Lexicon, with its sound disease resistance, becomes generally recommended. Krypton and Harpoon are deemed outclassed.


JUST two new winter oilseed rape varieties join the 1999 list, one hybrid and one conventional, and growers should budget carefully when comparing them, advises NIABs Simon Kightley.

So-called super or complex-hybrid Gemini, from CPB Twyford, consists of 80% sterile hybrid with 20% fully restored hybrid Artus as pollinator. "Its the heavenly twin partnership to overcome concerns of possible problems of conventional varieties not being vigorous enough to compete within varietal associations and not delivering pollen for a full crop," explains Mr Kightley.

For the first time (as forecast in Arable Nov 20) the latest list includes economic performance figures based on a combination of yield and oil content to help growers estimate variety value more accurately.

When making comparisons it is worth remembering that, at average yields and a price of £150/t, an extra 1% output in winter varieties is worth about £6.40/ha (£2.60/acre), says Mr Kightley. For spring types the figure is £3.90/ha (£1.60/acre).

Based on yield alone that puts the return from Gemini £72/ha (£29/acre) ahead of market leader conventional Apex, he explains. In practice Geminis relatively low oil content reduces that figure slightly to match the performance of fully restored hybrid Pronto.

But top conventional types like second newcomer, a coded variety from Nickerson with proposed name Escort, are snapping at the heels of more costly hybrids, says Mr Kightley. "This is where you have got to bear in mind seed costs."

On overall economic performance Gemini rates 106 against Escorts 104. Last years conventional introduction Madrigal is only a point lower, he notes.

Regionally Gemini only surrenders its lead, to Synergy and Pronto, in the north. "Its not particularly stiff strawed, but it has good resistance to light leaf spot and downy mildew and moderate resistance to stem canker."

Escort is also only moderately stiff but has the best all round disease resistance on the list.

Other list changes see Lipton and hybrids Pronto and Synergy given full recommendation. Contact and Lightning receive full regional approval for the central and southern regions, and Herald gets the same accolade for the north.

A decision on potentially high yielding three-way hybrid Comodor was deferred for another year. Output has been rather uneven, explains Mr Kightley.

Conventional types Alpine, Capitol, Commanche, Licrown and Meteor and hybrid Artus become outclassed.


New winter OSR

&#8226 Gemini (PG) – Complex hybrid.

&#8226 L-BN 246/21 (PG) – Conventional (proposed name Escort).

Note: PG = provisionally

recommended for general use.

New spring oilseeds

&#8226 Hyola 330 (PG) – Restored hybrid OSR.

&#8226 Oscar; Symphonia; Laser; Linus; Lola new linseeds.


ONLY one new spring oilseed rape joins the 1999 Recommended List, but four new names grace the Descriptive List for spring linseed.

Advantas restored oilseed rape hybrid Hyola 330 tops the yield and economic performance ratings. It outstrips Superol, newly promoted to full recommendation, by one and three points, respectively, the latter thanks to its higher oil content.

Like other Hyolas it is short but rather weak stemmed and very early ripening.

Among other changes varietal association Triolo gets full recommendation along with conventional type Liaison. Aries, Marinka and Star become outclassed.

The linseed list gets a big fillip through Nickersons Oscar. It outyields the next best, another newcomer, Dalgetys Symphonia, by 13%. "That puts it 24% ahead of Antares which came onto the list in 1990," notes NIABs Simon Kightley.

Oscar stands well and its relative lateness should not be a problem for growers in traditional southern growing areas, he says. "It is not one for the north."

Symphonia is medium early with moderate standing ability.

John Turners Linus and Laser (Arable Nov 6) also join the list. So too does Cebecos Lola, an edible oil type which stands better than Windermere but is adrift by 7% in economic terms.


ALL three spring barley candidates but only one spring wheat and two of the three oat contenders for a recommended slot achieved their goals.

The new spring barley names should help challenge the dominance of Optic and Chariot and give growers a wider choice, says the SACs David Cranstoun.

Century, from Nickerson, yields on a par with Optic and has a malting potential appreciably higher, he says.

"Its straw is stiffer. And with two bad years behind us that must be a boost." Mildew and rhynchosporium resistance is good which should make it easy to reduce inputs. And BYDV and ear loss ratings help make the variety a good all-rounder, he maintains. Decanters 9 rating is only the tip of what Dr Cranstoun describes as the malting potential iceberg of Nickersons second list addition. Its chemical make up suggests it can replace both Derkado and Delibes in niche markets and offers the whole malting industry new options. Its yield matches Optics and disease resistance overall is good.

In the feed variety Static, New Farm Crops, has advanced both treated and untreated output considerably, says Dr Cranstoun. Treated it outyields Optic by 4%. "It has stiff straw and pretty good disease resistance. Its good on barley yellow dwarf and ear retention and it is not as late as Optic – a good package."

Among other barley changes, feed type Rivieras good performance in 1998 sees it fully recommended in 1999. Malter Landlord by contrast suffered from high screenings and low yield and stays provisionally recommended for the north-east for a third year. Compared with Chariot it has outstanding resistance to splitting, explains Dr Cranstoun. "We wanted to give it another chance." Feed variety Hart becomes outclassed.

Sole success among a trio of spring wheats striving to make the list is Paragon from PBI Cambridge. Offering distinct improvements in disease resistance on existing varieties it has a Hagberg rating of 369, good protein, and the best listed bread-making quality, says NIABs John Ramsbottom. "It should find favour as a top flight quality spring wheat for late autumn sowing." Imp becomes fully recommended, but Axona is now outclassed.

Dalgetys Revisor and Perryfields Winston are the spring oat additions yielding 107 and 104 against Drummers 105 in treated trials. "The 107 is exciting," says DANIs Ethel White. But comparatively poor disease resistance and a specific weight below 50kg/hl, making it less attractive to millers, are Revisors downsides. Winstons grain quality and mildew resistance is better and its short stiff straw can be an important feature, she says Drummer becomes fully recommended as does naked variety Bullion, but Melys is outclassed.


New spring barleys

&#8226 Century (PG) – High yielding malting challenger to Optic.

&#8226 Decanter (PG) – Potentially wide range of malting options.

&#8226 Static (PG) – Top yielding feed with very stiff straw.

New spring wheat

&#8226 Paragon (PG) – Potential Group 1 breadmaker.

New spring oats

&#8226 Revisor (PG) – Top yielder.

&#8226 Winston (PG) – Short & stiff.


THERE are four new spring peas on the Recommended List.

Their presence reflects the 23% increase in national yield over the past 18 years, three-quarters of which is due to variety improvement, says NIABs Adrian Pickett.

Two white feed types look particularly useful, he says.

Croma from Cebeco Seed Innovations leads the yield rankings, outperforming Baccara by 2%. It also stands better and combines more easily than the previous leader.

Nickersons Agadir is taller and a point lower yielding than Croma. "But it is ahead on standing ability and ease of combining." A direct competitor to Eiffel it has the bonus of pea wilt resistance.

Nitouche, a tall Danish large blue from DLF Trifolium, has outstanding scores for standing ability and ease of combining. Output is 3 points less than Espace, but its larger pea size should ease its passage into micronising markets, says Mr Pickett.

Cebecos Supra is a semi-leafless marrowfat outyielding Maro by 3%. BEPA has made encouraging noises about its canning quality, and it stands well and is easy to combine, he says.


&#8226 White feed: Croma; Agadir.

&#8226 Large blue: Nitouche.

&#8226 Marrowfat: Supra.


A YELLOW-FLOWERED spring bean is one two joining the 1999 list.

Goldrush from Advanta has a relatively low yield, 2% below Victor, but has a honey-coloured seed with a white hilum which makes it potentially attractive to the export human consumption trade particularly to Egypt, suggests NIABs Adrian Pickett. It is short and stands well.

Perryfields Lobo matches Quattro as joint top yielder, five points ahead of Victor. Agronomically the two are similar, but Lobo has better downy mildew resistance which could save a spray, he suggests.

lThere are no new recommended winter beans for 1999, a reflection of limited breeding activity, says Mr Pickett. &#42


&#8226 Lobo – joint top yield.

&#8226 Goldrush – export scope.