27 November 1998

Switchover to spring wheat set to pay off

GROWERS concerned about drilling delays should now consider switching to spring wheats.

Treat them like a winter variety and 10-12t/ha yields and a quality bonus are possible from November sowing.

That is the view of CPB Twyford technical director, John Blackman, who says spring wheats Shiraz and Chablis yielded 11.5 and 11.3t/ha, respectively, from trials sown on Nov 12 last year.

"One of the biggest advantages is that spring wheats tend to come out of the ground running," he adds. "Winter varieties in comparison can struggle when sown into a difficult, wet cloddy seed-bed."

Spring management may need adjusting as a result. "Types such as Chablis and Shiraz will reach GS31 earlier than Equinox or Hussar sown on the same date and thus need an earlier first plant growth regulator spray."

First nitrogen should also go on at about the same stage to encourage tillering. &#42