Biscuit wheat Britannia has performed at the levels of feed wheats this harvest says Ron Granger.
Harvest results from across the country are showing very high yields from soft biscuit wheat Britannia which is producing yields on a par and above many Group 4 feed wheats.
Britannia has significantly raised the yield potential for the biscuit wheat sector, offering growers a variety that is yielding as much as the highest yielding hard feed wheats, but with premiums– a valuable proposition as signified by growers during the season of 2015 says Ron Granger, Limagrain UK’s arable technical manager.
This is reflected in the recently published AHDB winter wheat RL 1 year results, where Britannia has performed exceptionally well, points out Les Daubney, cereals product manager with Limagrain. “Looking in detail at individual sites for example at the Spalding site, it was one of the highest yielding varieties with a massive yield of 112% over the control yield of 9.11t/ha – when many of the feed wheats such as Santiago only produced yields around 108% over the control yield.”
“At the East Yorkshire site at Elmswell it was one of only two varieties producing 111% over the control yield of 13.39t/ha, whilst in Barnston in Essex, Britannia yielded on a par with KWS Santiago at 107% over the control yield of 10.05t/ha and well above JB Diego which only yielded 99% of the control yield.”
“Results from NIAB TAG from the same week show similar findings; in Cheshire the variety yielded 12.01t/ha and 104% over the site mean -whereas Group 4 KWS Kielder yielded 0.37t/ha lower which translates into 101% over the site mean. “
Dorit Cohen of AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds says that alongside domestic biscuit, cake-making and distilling markets, there is a strong export market for uks specification soft wheat to Spain, Portugal and North Africa.
“Buyers in these countries struggle to match the quality characteristics of uks wheat from anywhere else. As the consumption of European-style biscuits is increasing in Morocco and Algeria, we’re seeing demand for biscuit-quality wheat slowly increasing.”
Getting the best out of Britannia
Britannia should be sown later part of September / early October onwards – a high tillering variety with a faster development in the spring similar to Horatio.
Britannia, as a first wheat performs particularly well in the east and growers considering it as a second or continuous wheat should not be deterred by the 4 rating for eyespot, as many commercial varieties grown in this situation appear to have similar scores, says Ron Granger.
Britannia offers strong disease resistance, especially to septoria and yellow rust and produces good specific weights
Mr Granger acknowledges questions over the lodging rating of 6, but insists standing power is better than this suggests and can be enhanced with a good split PGR programme and tailored agronomy.
Mr Granger adds that the variety is not particularly suitable for early drilling and suggests Limagrain offer better varieties for this option, including Claire, Alchemy, Horatio and Revelation.
|Britannia||JB Diego||KWS Santiago|
|UK treated yield (% control) AHDB RL 2011 – 15 MEAN||104||102||105|
|Market options||Biscuit / uks Export||Hard Feed||Hard Feed|
|Specific weight (kg/hl)||76.7||77.7||74.9|
|Lodging resistance with PGR||6||8||7|
|Ripening (days +/- Solstice)||+2||0||+2|
|Orange wheat blossom midge||NO||NO||YES|