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Winter wheat – Variety choice for 2019 drilling

18 July 2019

The average septoria rating of wheat varieties being used on-farm has increased, coming on the back of issues in managing the disease with a heavy reliance on fungicides.  The emerging resistance issues are impacting on-field control and a move towards better varietal resistance is to be welcomed.

There are a lot of varieties to choose from but market demand will always be key.  Winter wheat varieties with soft endosperm remain the most important choices for Scottish growers in meeting the needs of the grain distilling sector.  This summer’s list of soft Group 4 varieties for distilling and feed use includes the well-established Viscount, Leeds, Revelation, LG Motown and LG Sundance along with the more recently introduced KWS Jackal and Elation, and new varieties LG Skyscraper and LG Spotlight.

Some Group 3 biscuit making varieties such as Zulu and Elicit also suit distilling.

For hard feed wheat, newer varieties Gleam and RGT Gravity are the top choices, and a new hard milling variety KWS Extase has outstanding untreated yield.

When making variety choices check for the best balance of disease resistance, maturity, straw stiffness and grain quality.

Check the disease ratings of varieties and pick the best septoria rating you can for the market sector you are aiming at.  Yellow rust is another important one to check and can mean savings in terms of T0 chemistry but please note that we are concerned there may be new races about which might change the varietal ratings.  In trials in the south-east of Scotland and north of England, many varieties seem to have succumbed to yellow rust, even when rated with a good resistance of 8 or 9.  Please follow any changes in disease resistance as data are compiled from AHDB RL trials and from the UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey who will report what new races have been detected this summer.  The UKCPVS reports usually come out in March which is in time to modify spray plans if there are significant risks to varieties now rated as good for yellow rust resistance.

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