Wheat breeders must do a better job, says SAC

16 July 1999

Wheat breeders must do a better job, says SAC

All growers need varieties

suited to local conditions,

and no where more so than

Scotland. Andrew Swallow

reports from the SAC/

HGCA variety day at

Luthermuir, Aberdeenshire

RIBAND will remain the number one wheat variety in Scotland for a few seasons yet, reckons SAC cereal specialist, David Cranstoun.

Of the soft endosperm types challenging, none offers sufficient yield advantage to knock Riband of the top, he says. And hard milling types are also ruled out due to the demands of the distilling industry and problems met in retaining high enough Hagberg falling numbers for breadmaking.

Weaker straw and mildew susceptibility weigh against Claire, though, otherwise, the provisionally recommended varietys disease resistance is good, which will attract some growers, he concedes.

Similarly, Eclipse and Buchan will take a small slice of the market. Eclipses nine rating for eyespot resistance, combined with a strobilurin programme, might allow growers to cut fungicide applications from three to two, he says. And Buchans very stiff straw and high specific weight are both desirable characteristics north of the border.

"But none of them offer a leap forward in yield. So my message to wheat breeders is that they must do better." &#42

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