22 June 2001
Get variety right, wheat growers told
By FARMERS WEEKLY staff
AFTER the disruption from the wettest autumn and winter on record wheat growers must re-establish rotations and get back to normal as soon as possible.
That is the advice from Monsantos John Howie who expects this autumns sowings to bounce back from 1.6m hectares to over 2m.
It is vital to get the variety selection right so performance is not compromised, he says.
There is likely to be a lot of first wheat this autumn and, weather permitting, much more early drilling than usual.
After a dreadful year many rotations have been changed with new crops grown, many drilled late, and often more than one crop in a single field, he adds.
He advises growers that variety choice of should reflect individual circumstances.
For first wheat after a winter break a slow developer with stiff straw is essential, says Mr Howie. Options include Riband, Consort and Claire.
Set-aside harbours volunteer cereals and grasses which carry take-all, so some tolerance to the disease is desirable in the following wheat crop.
The best measure of this is the varietys performance as second wheats, he suggests. It should also be able to cope with early drilling.
The take-all risk rises in a wheat crop after spring cereals, so a variety with some tolerance is useful.
Early maturity should help avoid a late harvest with further knock-on delays to autumn 2002.
For a first wheat after a spring break most varieties are suitable, he says.
But with sowing likely to be after mid-September a fast developer to make up for lost time is useful. High vigour will also help, particularly in rough seed-beds.
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