Variety choices for Autumn 2020
North region yields are given as a % of fungicide-treated controls (11.3 t/ha). Untreated yield is a % of the UK treated controls (11.2 t/ha).
Winter wheat varieties with soft endosperm remain the most important choices for Scottish growers in meeting the needs of the grain distilling sector. The leading soft Group 4 varieties for distilling are Elation, KWS Jackal, and LG Skyscraper.
Some Group 3 biscuit-making varieties such as Zulu and Elicit also suit distilling use, whereas KWS Barrel suits feed use.
For hard feed wheat, Gleam and SY Insitor are the top choices.
When making variety choices check for the best balance of disease resistance, maturity, straw stiffness and grain quality.
Most wheat varieties now have weakness to yellow rust, even those with a resistance rating of 8 or 9. The published national average ratings may not reflect changes in resistance to local rust populations, or to high disease situations
Elation: This is soft feed variety is rated good for distilling. It has high yield potential , but a poor untreated yield . Elation performs well as a second wheat and suits lighter textured soils. Its specific weight is good and Hagberg figures are moderate to low. Resistance to Septoria tritici is poor. It has good straw stiffness.
Elicit: A biscuit-making variety that is rated good for distilling. Compared to Zulu, it has good treated yield  and intermediate untreated  yield. It is slightly later to mature than Zulu, with a small improvement in specific weight, and slightly lower Hagberg figures. It has average resistance to Septoria tritici.
Gleam: A hard feed variety with very good treated yield  and intermediate untreated yield . It is relatively early maturing and has no severe disease weaknesses. It suits all soil types and looks relatively strong in the second cereal position.
KWS Barrel: A Group 3 variety with biscuit making quality but rated poor for distilling. It has short stiff-straw and has produced consistently high treated high yields , though untreated yield is very poor . It has performed particularly well on lighter soils. Although it has a high rating for yellow rust resistance, infection has been high in crop trials. It is very susceptible to Septoria tritici and eyespot.
KWS Extase: This Group 2 hard milling variety should be considered for south-east Scotland only, as the risk of ear sterility increases further north. It has a competitive yield  with an outstanding untreated yield . It has very good grain characteristics: including high protein levels, Hagberg falling number and specific weight. Apart from eyespot, this variety has good disease resistance, with a top rating for Septoria tritici resistance [8.1]. It is also relatively early to mature.
KWS Jackal: This soft feed variety is a North region recommendation and is rated medium for distilling. It has high yield potential , with good resistance to mildew, though untreated yield is poor . It is earlier maturing than Leeds and Myriad and has stiffish straw. It is relatively good as second wheat.
KWS Lili: This Group 2 hard milling variety has produced high treated yields  in the North region. It has a high Hagberg falling number, but tends towards low protein content, so will require careful nitrogen management if looking for a premium market. It has stiff straw and good resistance to mildew, though other disease resistances are intermediate, and its untreated yield is very poor . It has performed particularly well on lighter soils and is best suited to first wheat situations. It is later maturing that other hard milling varieties.
LG Skyscraper: This soft feed variety is high yielding  and rated medium for distilling. It performs well as second cereal and is the earliest maturing distilling variety. Hagberg figures and specific weight are intermediate. It has good resistance to mildew and relativeky good resistance to yellow rust, with intermediate untreated yield . It is relatively tall, but straw strength is about average for this category.
LG Spotlight: A soft feed variety rated medium for distilling. Hagberg figures and specific weight are excellent for a soft wheat. Yield in the North region yield  is below its UK average and untreated yield is intermediate . Although it has a high resistance rating for yellow rust, infection is evident in crop trials. It has relatively good resistance to Fusarium ear blight. Maturity is earlier than Leeds.
LG Sundance: This soft Group 4 variety is rated medium for distilling. This variety has produced intermediate treated yields  and good untreated yield , but tends to give low specific weight. It has very good resistance to Septoria tritici, but is highly susceptible to eyespot. It has relatively late maturity and intermediate straw stiffness that benefits from a good PGR programme.
Revelation: A soft endosperm feed variety rated as good for distilling. This late maturing variety has slow primordial development and is best suited to very early drilling to improve its modest treated yield . This variety has above average disease resistance with an intermediate untreated yield . It is not midge resistant.
RGT Saki: A new soft feed-only variety as it is rated poor for distilling. Its agronomic value is provided by a good untreated yield , stiff straw and good performance as a second cereal. Specific weight and Hagberg figures are intermediate, but maturity is similarly late to Revelation’s.
SY Insitor: This is a new hard feed wheat with very high treated yield , excellent specific weight and very good Hagberg figures. Septoria tritici resistance is above average, with other disease resistance intermediate. Untreated yield is average . Intermediate straw stiffness benefits from a good PGR programme
Zulu: An established nabim Group 3 soft biscuit variety rated medium for distilling. However, its yield and agronomic features are becoming outclassed. It consistently meets the quality requirements for soft-milling, and has intermediate Hagberg figures and specific weight. It has high resistance to mildew but is weak for yellow rust, and susceptible to eyespot. It has produced modest yields in the North  but has very poor untreated yield . Its moderate strength straw responds well to plant growth regulators.
The full data sets collected are available on the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds website here
Cereal varieties of most value to growers in Scotland are highlighted in the SRUC Scottish List tables here
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