Which wheat for late drill? - Farmers Weekly

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Which wheat for late drill?

19 October 2001

Which wheat for late drill?

PLANT breeders are plugging a plethora of wheat varieties for those with land left to drill. Some say stick with winter types while others argue a switch to springs will pay if there is any delay.

Both arguments have some merit and growers should not read too much into data from just one trial in one year, says NIABs Richard Fenwick.

"At this stage if youve got winter wheat seed on the farm then I would bash on with what youve got. But if you have to go out and buy fresh seed then I wouldnt be buying a winter wheat, because of the risk of not getting it in."

That is echoed by CPB Twyfords John Blackman. "Spring varieties perform well from November sowing onwards. The key point is if you cant sow winter varieties then their performance tails off rapidly."

Some will say their winter wheat sown January/February last year did well, but a spring wheat would probably have yielded more from the same seed-bed, he adds. "You would certainly notice how much later the winter wheat would be to harvest – two weeks at least."

Group 2 springs Chablis or Ashby are fine from late October, but growers should not go with Group 1 Samoa before the end of November, he says.

Nickersons Frank Curtis concurs with Mr Blackman that spring varieties will perform on a par in November and give growers more flexibility if drilling is delayed.

However, for those not aiming for bread milling markets he suggests true winter Group 3 variety Deben, which has topped both the main NIAB/HGCA and ARC variety trials and NIABs three-site late drilling trials.

"I would go for Deben rather than Claire at this stage. By nature seed-beds are less favourable from November onwards and Deben has produced excellent results in such conditions." Lodging is less of an issue with later sowings, he adds.

Advanta advocates its Recommended List contender and potential miller Xi19 for later sowings, citing drilling date work by NIAB at Cambridge last year (see table). Drawing on the same data Monsanto is promoting Option, highlighting its flexibility and robustness.

"Along with most of the other varieties included in the trial, the optimum sowing date for Option was late September," says seeds trials co-ordinator David Leaper.

"However, the variety emphasised its particular adaptability by maintaining its performance over the main winter sowing period better than any other." As a group 2 variety full specification milling samples are making £12/t over feed at present, he adds. &#42


&#8226 Finish what youve got first.

&#8226 Springs safer if dont get on.

&#8226 Quality can compensate for date.

&#8226 Option, Xi19 or Deben best winters?

Claire Csort Mcca Snah Chger Option* Xi19

Oct 15 11.6 12.1 11.4 12.2 – 12.0 13.4

Mid-Dec 9.7 9.5 9.7 9.0 9.3 10.3 10.4

Basic trial funded by Procam, breeders commissioned specific variety inclusions. Work conducted by NIAB at Cambridge on med-heavy soil.

*Figures provided by PBIC, 250 seeds/sq m. Other results provided by Advanta, mean of 100, 250 and 400 seeds/sq m.

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Which wheat for late drill?

6 November 1998

Which wheat for late drill?

Forced by extreme wet

weather to abandon planned

drilling schedules, farmers

should now reappraise

priorities, varieties and even

crops. John Tearle reports

FOLLOWING sugar beet or main crop potatoes many growers plan to drill wheat in November or December.

But this year heavy rain and flooding has meant drilling planned for October has still not been completed. With sheds full of seed which varieties should still be drilled, in what order, and which varieties should be abandoned altogether?

John Spink of ADAS Rosemaund says the NIAB rating for earliness of ripening gives a reasonable rule of thumb measure of the speed of development of a variety and can be used to determine the order of drilling. "Varieties such as Charger and Soissons have a high rating and are well suited to late drilling. Consort has a low rating and is better suited to early drilling," says Mr Spink. "Spring varieties are of course all rapid developers."

Late drilling can have a dramatic effect on some varieties. In last seasons trials Mr Spink drilled 18 different varieties at two different drilling dates, 26 Sept and 16 Dec. The average yield loss of the later drilling for all 18 varieties was 1.8t/ha (0.73t/acre). But there were big differences between varieties. Consort, a slow developer, lost 5t/ha (2t/acre), whereas Soissons lost only 0.2t/ha (0.08t/acre) compared to earlier drilling time.

NIAB has produced tables of the relative yields of winter and spring wheat varieties drilled after 1 November. These show that the yield gap between the barn filling feed types, such as Brigadier and Riband and the milling quality types narrows with late drilling.

"If growers need to buy seed they should now be looking at the spring varieties for the best economic return," says Richard Fenwick of NIAB. "Current spring varieties drilled now will yield close to the feed varieties and a relatively small premium of £5/t will make them better paying.

"Newer varieties such as Raffles, Paragon and Samoa will possibly even out-yield many feed varieties, though their acceptance by the millers has not been established yet." For farmers with seed already purchased, Mr Fenwick suggests it will still pay to use it now. "But by mid-November most winter feed varieties would be better swapped for a spring variety."

lAvailability of seed is not a problem, says David Neale, national cereal seed manager for Dalgety. "With the exception of Hereward, where supply is a little tight, most seed is readily available, though a switch to spring varieties may lead to some shortages." &#42

Other options

"Autumn sown spring barley is quite popular in the Eastern counties, especially on the lighter land where an early harvested, good quality malting barley can attract high premiums," says David Neale. "But winter kill can be high, and re-drilling in the spring may be necessary."

Triticale is very winter hardy and can do well in late drilled situations, Mr Neale adds.

Variety Relative yield NABIM group

Raffles * –

Hussar 108 4

Brigadier 106 4

Chablis 106 2

Samoa * –

Charger * 2

Cantata * –

Rialto 105 2

Imp 103 2

Paragon * –

Riband 102 3

Soissons 99 2

Shiraz 98 2

Spark 98 1

Hereward 97 1

Axona 91 1

*Provisional relative position only.

Source: NIAB.

Late autumn sown yields

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