Harvest results from farms around England in 2016 have shown winter feed wheat variety Reflection delivered some impressive yields in its first year, despite a season of intense disease pressure, says its breeder Syngenta.
According to Syngenta campaign manager Kat Allen, Reflection – which was launched for growers to plant commercially for the first time last autumn – frequently yielded 10 – 11 t/ha in the results collected from over 30 farms, and sometimes yielded even more.
In addition, many growers produced specific weights above 74 kg/hl, she says, with a few even edging nearer the 80 kg/hl mark.
Meanwhile in trials, Ms Allen says Reflection was found to yield between 10 and 13.1 t/ha in Syngenta trials in the Midlands, East Anglia and the South.
“Obviously, 2016 was an extremely challenging season for wheat disease,” says Ms Allen, “However, when it came to the most important part of the season, the harvest, it became clear that Reflection on many farms delivered some very impressive results. Plenty of farmers are growing it again.”
Although Ms Allen says AHDB yellow rust resistance ratings for a number of winter wheat varieties, including Reflection, have been reduced following last season’s high yellow rust levels, she doesn’t believe that the yellow rust resistance rating of Reflection was one of the main reasons that farmers originally chose it.
“Instead, its other attributes were much more appealing,” Ms Allen continues, “including its yield, its good grain quality and its early maturity. The harvest results suggest many growers achieved these. Usefully, Reflection also provides resistance to orange wheat blossom midge.”
According to Syngenta field technical manager, Iain Hamilton, with concerns about yellow rust generally, vigilance from early on will be essential this season. Rust-active fungicides will need to be applied appropriately, he says, for example using Cherokee at T0 and then maintaining effective protection against the disease at follow-up timings.
“If yellow rust appears particularly early, for example between December and March, and we have a mild winter, conducive to disease spread, it may be appropriate to apply a pre-T0 rust fungicide to hold the disease until the T0 spray,” Mr Hamilton adds.