Lupins stride to the future
BREEDING advances in the growth habit and structure of lupins have made them better suited to the UK climate, said George Milford of IACR Rothamsted.
"We now have autumn-sown dwarf determinates which are lodging resistant and frost tolerant," he explained. "Thats a long way from the early 1980s, when crops had to be spring sown and offered poor yield stability."
In the pipeline …
Future advances are likely to include early flowering and increased branching, as well as a degree of alkaline tolerance. Higher grain protein and improved yields are in the pipeline.
"Plant structure is also affected by local climate and sowing date," said Mr Milford. "A delay in sowing or cold autumn weather reduces plant structure from 35 to 15 leaves, which obviously decreases yield potential."n