GROWERS MUST look beyond yield and end market when choosing wheat and oilseed rape varieties this season, says one expert.
While winter wheat will continue to be most profitable on many farms, factors such as disease and lodging risk, sowing time and second wheat profitability must be considered, said independent consultant, Richard Fenwick.
Group 3 wheats will continue to dominate variety choice due to their high marketability, while the increasing trend towards Group 2’s at the expense of Group 1’s is likely to stabilise, he predicted.
Next year’s Recommended List candidates of interest include; Mascot with bread-making potential; Dover, which has good lodging and disease resistance and Hurley – a possible replacement for Soissons, he said.
The Group 4 variety Alchemy is also worth considering due to its good yield potential and generally good disease resistance (except for eyespot), he noted. Gatsby also offers midge resistance, he said.
Mr Fenwick also believes the oilseed rape area may increase.
“With more first wheats around, the prospects for supplying the biofuels market and with new agronomic quality types coming forward, we could well see more rape being grown.”
Growers should look to OSR varieties with rapid establishment, good canker resistance and shorter, stiffer straw when growing on fertile soils, he said.
Symphony, Barrel and the hybrid variety Excalibur should be looked at, he suggested.