Wheat trials imitate on-farm reality

This season’s HGCA winter wheat trial yields, 9% down on the long-term average, seem to reflect commercial experience, says Recommended Lists manager Jim McVittie.

Group 1 varieties Solstice and Mascot, however, are yielding much as expected.

Among the Group 2s, Einstein has shown more lodging and its yield is down slightly.

“This is root lodging where the whole plant is pulled over rather than stem lodging which is the more common form,” says Dr McVittie. “Some adjustment to its lodging score is likely, but this will be no more than one point.”

Battalion also yielded slightly lower than its long-term mean but was only in a sub-set of trials this season.

“Cordiale has had a better year in 2007 but its over-years mean is still running 3% behind Einstein.”

The fate of the bread-making RL candidates will be decided by their combination of yield, agronomics and end-user tests, so it is too soon to pick the winners, he says.

“Only Duxford is out-yielding Einstein on the over-years figures, but Musketeer, Marksman and Limerick are only 1% adrift so could easily make up for that in quality. Velocity is 3% below Solstice.”

Among the Group 3s Robigus has yielded well, despite earlier fears over rusts and mildew, and is slightly up on its long-term mean. “This is in contrast to 2006 where its yields were below average.

“Zebedee is down a little, but over-years it still is slightly in front of Robigus. CPBT W130 (Rocky) is also at the same yield level.”

Among the Group 4s Oakley has had a very good year despite the appearance of brown rust on it for the first time, he notes.

“It is 3% above its closest recommended rival, Glasgow.

“Alchemy is a little down, perhaps due to its susceptibility to brown rust, but it’s still only one point behind Glasgow for treated yield and continues to have good Septoria tritici resistance.”

Brompton, Humber, Istabraq, Sahara and Ambrosia all potentially match Alchemy for yield, but the latter did less well this season, he notes. “Of the Group 4 candidates, Hereford and JB Diego are close to Oakley for yield while Monty is similar to Glasgow.”

  • Barometer, p56 EU harvest, p59

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