Two Nickerson varieties, Invicta and Edmunds, had promising yields as prospective Group 3 biscuit-making wheats, running about 3-4% above Scout and Robigus, Bill Handley of HGCA said. “They have no major weaknesses, except perhaps Invicta’s specific weight is a little low.”
After last year’s surprise decision not to recommend Viscount and Cassius as Group 3s, however, Dr Handley said Nabim’s pronouncement would be key. “If either went to feed you would have to compare their yields to the top feed wheats.
“At the moment both look promising for Group 3, but that’s what Nabim had said about Viscount before last year.”
A third candidate, Warrior, could also be in the mix as a Group 3 although its yield is 3% behind the other two varieties, making it similar to Robigus.
Similarly Nabim’s decision on whether any of the five candidate bread-making wheats were Group 1 varieties would also probably make or break their chances of recommendation.
Only KWS Sterling, currently yielding 102% across the five years mean, had the yield potential to compete with Group 2 leader Panorama, Dr Handley said. “It hinges on what Nabim says. If it is a Group 1 it would be a strong candidate, while as a Group 2 it has stiffer competition.”
“That looks unlikely for the three KWS varieties. Kingdom has a better chance, but it hasn’t had a particularly good year – it is 4% back on where we would expect it to be making it lower yielding than Gallant. It has picked a bad time to do that.”
Gallant also hadn’t had a particularly good year in the trials, with just three Scottish sites left to be combined. “This year its mean is similar to Solstice, although on the over years mean it is 4% ahead still, so it is not a disaster.”
Established varieties that had had a good year included Oakley, yielding 106% of the controls, despite its yellow rust problems.