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Winter wheat results round-up

Results from all winter wheattrials are now in. This report has analysis of the results from differentregions of the UK by Ellie Marshall, HGCA Research and KT Manager as well asthe thoughts about what happened-on farm from Tim Isaac, HGCA Regional Manager.

Toanalyse wheat results, the UK is divided into three regions, broadlyspeaking the North region encompasses most of Scotland except the southwest.The West region is all of Wales, Northern Ireland, southwest Scotland and thewetter part of England from Hampshire in the south to Cumbria in the north. Thedrier East region is all the remaining parts of England.

Recommended List results for winter wheat East region

Yieldsfor the control varieties in HGCA Recommended List wheat trials in the Eastregion have yielded a respectable 11.5 t/ha in 2014. This is 1.53 t/hagreater than the five-year average of 9.97 t/ha. For 2014, the controlvarieties are Solstice, JB Diego, Gallant, Invicta and KWS Santiago. 2014 harvestresults are useful to understand how varieties performed this season, butthe-five year average yields are a better indicator of overall performance overa range of seasons. The average yield of the control varieties represents 100%yield.

Whencomparing yields in the three regions in 2014, the average yield of thecontrol varieties in the east was 11.50 t/ha which was lower than thoserecorded in the west (11.64 t/ha), but higher than yields recorded in the north(Scotland) at 10.88 t/ha.

Whenit comes to quality markets, end-user demand and quality are priorities overyield, so please consult with your end-user as opposed to yield when selectingvarieties.

Theprovisional nabim Group 1 bread quality wheat Skyfall is the highest yieldingquality wheat at 103% in 2014. This is above its five-year average of 101%.This variety also outperforms many nabim Group 2 bread-making wheats on yieldtoo and is the only bread-making winter wheat resistant to orange wheat blossommidge. The quality nabim Group 1 wheat Crusoe also had a good year in 2014 inthe east at 102%, 3% higher than the five-year average yield (99%), butattention to detail is required to manage brown rust, however, this is an issuein common with the other Group 1s Solstice and Gallant.

Qualitynabim Group 2 bread-making wheat yields are led by Panorama (102%) and Cubanita(101% in 2014 and in the five-year average).

Thenabim Group 3 biscuit wheat yields are led by Icon, (104% in 2014, 102% in thefive-year average). It has done particularly well in the region in 2014. Thenew biscuit variety Zulu (which has orange wheat blossom midge resistance)achieved a 2014 yield and a five-year average yield of 101%.

Feedwheat varieties are categorised as hard feed and soft feed. Traditionally hardfeed wheats top the yields, and in 2014, this accolade goes to Evolution in theeast. Evolution is a new variety with good overall disease resistance (105%),KWS Santiago, which is currently less susceptible to the common races of yellowrust (105%) and Grafton (105%). Grafton has slow primordial development whichmay have contributed to its success in 2014. Hard feeds which have consistentlyperformed well over the past five years include Evolution (106%), KWS Santiago(106%) and Conqueror (105%). Dickens, with overall good disease resistance andnot as late as other high yielding varieties achieved 104% whilst the popularvariety JB Diego achieved102% in the five-year average. This variety tends toproduce a good sample of high specific weight and Hagberg Falling number.

Thesoft feed variety Leeds performed well in 2014 (105%) and in the five-yearaverage (105%), which is a performance comparable to the best hard feed wheatvarieties, but attention is required for mildew control in high diseasepressure areas.

Results tables

Thoughts on the winter wheat harvest from HGCAregional manager, Tim Isaac

Onthe whole, the growing conditions for this years harvest were very goodthroughout the region and a welcome improvement over the previous year.Autumn-sown crops got away well and continued to grow through the mild winter.Despite wetter weather towards the end of harvest most crops were brought in onschedule with little need for drying.

Asthe conditions were so favourable, neither light or heavy land sufferedsignificantly over the other and the results are likely to show a typical yieldadvantage for those on heavier ground. Some lighter areas did perhaps burn offa bit early in the June sunshine which may have knocked yield potential.

Firstwheat yields have been very good with most reporting more than 10t/ha and manyover 11t/ha with some patches in fields showing 12 to 13t/ha according to theyield monitor on the combine, but most of the high figures being talked aboutare likely to be adjusted downwards once weighed out of the barn later on.Second wheats have been more in the 8.5 to 10t/ha range.

Earlierin the season, there was much talk about early drilled wheat crops beingsprayed off because of the high levels of black-grass infestation. That is avery drastic and expensive decision to have to make, regardless of how well thereplacement crop does. Those with low to medium black-grass problemshave managed it as best they can with probably minimal effect on yield, but ahigh herbicide bill.

Drivingaround in May/June, there were some pretty nasty looking patches creeping in topreviously clean fields. Most people are now accepting that cultivation systemsand rotations will need to be changed to avoid the situation becoming worse,but whether that actually translates into change on the ground with thepressure of time and margins, only time will tell.

RL results from other regions West Region

Yieldsof the HGCA recommended List control varieties in the west were 11.64 t/ha.This is 1.79 t/ha higher than the five-year average yield of 9.85 t/ha.

Hardfeed varieties performed well in the west. JB Diego had an exceptional year in2014 in this region achieving 107% of the control varieties, which was thehighest yield of varieties currently on the HGCA Recommended List. Its yield onthe five-year average is 103%. With its good specific weight and Hagbergfalling number, it is a variety that is well suited to the region.

Thefive-year average yields are a better representation as to how varieties willperform over a range of seasons. KWS Santiago (105%), Evolution (104%),Conqueror (104%), Dickens (104%) are all good hard feed wheat performers. KWSSantiago is currently less susceptible to the common yellow rust races.

Evolutionentered the Recommended List last year, and it has good overall diseaseresistance, which is reflected in a good untreated yield but it does not haveorange wheat blossom midge resistance. Conqueror performs well in a range ofsoils, but attention to detail is required for eyespot and mildew, whilstDickens has good overall disease resistance to rusts and mildew.

Thesoft feed wheat variety Leeds performed well in the west in 2014 (104% in 2014,103% in the five-year average), although you need to watch mildew on thisvariety.

Ifyou are interested in quality wheats, the priority will be the requirement ofthe end user as opposed to yield. One variety worth looking at is Skyfall. Thisprovisional nabim Group 1 breadmaking wheat yielded 104% in 2014, (103% in thefive-year average). This variety not only has an outstanding yield for aquality bread-making wheat, but the yield also looks favourable compared tosome hard feed wheats.

Biscuitquality wheat varieties which perform well include Zulu (103% in 2014, 101%five year-average), this variety is a high-yielding biscuit soft wheat withresistance to orange wheat blossom midge.

Results tables

RL results from other regions North(Scotland)

Theaverage yield of the HGCA recommended List control varieties in Scotland was10.88 t/ha. This is 1.37 t/ha higher than the five-year average yield of 9.51t/ha.

Softfeed varieties with distilling potential dominate the Scottish wheat market,results for varieties in 2014 are:

Panacea: good for distilling, butsusceptible to lodging without plant growth regulator 104% (106% five-yearaverage)
Twister:medium for distilling 104% (107% five-year average)
Leeds: goodfor distilling but watch the mildew 103% (107% five-year average)
Revelation: goodfor distilling but late maturing 102% (104% five-year average)
Myriad: mediumfor distilling 102% (104% five-year average)
Viscount: goodfor distilling 100% (104% five-year average)
Beluga: goodfor distilling 103% (103% five-year average)
Alchemy:medium for distilling 99% (98% five-year average)

NabimGroup 3 biscuit varieties which also meet requirements for distilling includeIcon (100%) and Zulu (102%). Hard feed varieties which did well includeEvolution (106%) and KWS Kielder (105%). In the south of the region, there mayalso be interest in quality bread wheats. Skyfall, the provisionally approvedbread wheat achieved 102% in 2014, and an impressive 104% in the five-yearaverage.

Results tables

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