A breakthrough winter wheat variety that sets a new standard for high yield, while also providing a range of attributes that are set to make it practical to grow, is being launched to growers for this autumn.
Reflection is a new hard feed winter wheat from Syngenta, which was newly-added to the new HGCA Recommended List for winter wheat for 2015/16, where it has the highest UK treated yield figure at 107% of control varieties, equivalent to 10.7 t/ha.
But as well as offering growers the prospect of a welcome yield boost, its other features should also make it very practical to manage in a farm situation, says Syngenta technical solutions manager, Kathryn Hearn. Among these are early-maturity, high grain quality and stiff straw, she adds.
With the current volatility in grain prices, producing high yields is clearly extremely important for farm profitability, explains Ms Hearn. Not only has Reflection shown that it can deliver high yields in official trials including performing well on both heavy and light soil types but it has done this without compromising in other areas.
Perhaps the first area where Reflection breaks the mould is in combining its high yield with early-maturity. Recently in winter wheat, high yield has tended to be associated with later maturity which makes sense since the longer a variety has for grain filling, the higher-yielding it should be.
But Reflection is two or three days earlier-ripening on the HGCA Recommended List than some other varieties with lower yield figures. Earliness can help farmers to spread harvest workloads and reduce weather risks during the critical harvest period, she adds.
In addition to yield and earliness, Ms Hearn says Reflection also has excellent grain quality, with a specific weight of over 77 kg/hl on the HGCA Recommended List. High specific weight can give growers an important safety margin against grain price deductions. The specific weight requirement for winter wheat sold for feed can be a minimum of 73 kg/hl.
A further attribute of Reflection for protecting yield and quality and for making harvest easier is that it has excellent resistance to lodging, thanks to its short and stiff straw.
Additionally, Ms Hearn says Reflection has a good disease resistance profile, with no ratings below a five on the HGCA Recommended List, plus resistance to orange wheat blossom midge and wheat soil borne mosaic virus. Testament to its disease resistance is that Reflection produced high untreated yields even in the high disease pressure years of 2012 and 2014.
All in all, we see Reflection as offering growers a fresh alternative in the winter feed wheat market, with the reassurance of extra yield in official trials and a very attractive package of agronomic benefits, she adds.