Harvest 2016: Top-yielding candidate varieties revealed

Last season was a challenging one, with “average” yields being the new “good”. However, some candidate varieties in AHDB trials offered a glimpse of what is to come.

Those up for recommendation later this winter include a potential high-yielding bread-making wheat and a batch of high-yielding feed wheats, including potential successor to barn-filler Santiago.

We take an early look at the top candidate yield performers based on the AHDB’s provisional harvest figures..

See also: Harvest 2016: 5 top-yielding winter wheat varieties

Wheat

Starting with wheat, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (Niab) cereal specialist Clare Leaman says the soft Group 4 candidates have performed well in 2016, with all but one yielding above current varieties.

“Potentially, we could see a lot of new additions to the Recommended List.” However, she adds that the yellow rust situation in 2016 could have an impact, so there is a need to see the ratings along with the rest of the trial data before picking potential winners.

According to the AHDB harvest results, candidate bread-maker Zyatt performed well at 100%, which puts its five-year mean ahead of the other Group 1s.

However, the variety will need to undergo Nabim baking tests to confirm its grouping. Its breeder, KWS, says the variety has performed well in baking tests having a “good baking quality similar to that of Gallant.”

Potential Group 2 Cassidy achieved a five-year mean of 101% and last year had a 9 rating for yellow rust, but lags behind Lili and Siskin on yield.

Standing out in the hard feed sector are Shabras, Marlowe and Kerrin, all at 106%. Kerrin, says KWS, is the natural successor to high yielder Santiago and the breeder thinks the variety will appeal to those in the East.

Mrs Leaman sees the soft Group 4 as having the biggest yield gains with some useful varieties, but again it is difficult to separate them.

Stratosphere topped the five-year means at 105%, with Bennington and Sundance at 104%.

Finally, seven of this year’s wheat candidates are resistant to orange blossom wheat midge, which may prove valuable if they make it onto the list, since the loss of chlorpyrifos.

Top yielding wheat candidates 

2012-2016 average

2016

Group 1 and 2 

 

Zyatt

102%

100%

Skyfall (top RL variety)

101%

99%

Cassidy

101%

98%

Siskin (top RL variety)

103%

102%

Group 4 hard

 

Shabras

106%

105%

Marlowe

106%

105%

Kerrin

106%

104%

Belgrade (top RL variety)

104%

106%

Group 4 soft

 

 

Stratosphere

105%

106%

Bennington

104%

104%

Sundance

104%

105%

Leeds (top RL variety)

102%

101%

Oilseed rape

The candidates up for inclusion on the AHDB Recommended List show that the battle between conventional and hybrid types continues.

In the AHDB East and West trials, Flamingo was the top performer with a gross output of 115%. On the four-year average it finished just 1% below the best variety, already recommended, Elgar, on 109%.

Bred in France from the KWS Momont breeding programme, ­Flamingo comes from the same stable as Picto and Campus. In second place is hybrid Aquila with a four-year mean of 108%. Followed by Skye at 106%. However, Niab oilseeds specialist Simon Kightley points out the candidates have not taken yields on; the first year for some years this has happened.

The one variety that has caught his eye, Nikita, is up for recommendation again this autumn having just failed last year because of its phoma rating.

“Nikita is the top yielder in Niab trials this season,” he says.

For the North, Anastasia, which is already recommended, topped at 110% with the top candidates at 109% (Flamingo, Artic and Exclaim). Six recommended varieties were at the same yield.

Top yielding oilseed rape candidates 

2013-2016 average

2016

East and West list (gross output)

 

Flamingo

109%

115%

Aquila

108%

113%

Skye

106%

107%

Elgar (top RL variety)

110%

110%

North list  (gross output)

 

Flamingo

109%

112%

Artic

109%

112%

Exclaim

109%

116%

Anastasia (top RL variety)

110%

115%

Winter barley

Hybrids were the key performers in the disappointing winter barley harvest of 2016 and the trend continued with the candidates.

Hyvido candidate Sunningdale from Syngenta was the top ­performer in 2016 at 109%, giving it the highest five-year mean.

Funky is second at 107%, making it the highest yielding non-hybrid. The six-row feed variety, according to KWS, is a day earlier to mature than its stablemate Meridian.

Top-yielding winter barley candidates 

2012-2016 average

2016

Sunningdale

109%

109%

Funky

107%

107%

Bazooka (top RL variety)

109%

110%

The figures given are provisional, with the final yield and ratings released when the 2017-18 list is published by AHDB on 28 November. 

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