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Cereals

Effective Crop Protection Programmes for High Yielding Varieties

Effective Crop Protection Programmes for High Yielding Varieties

When growing high yielding varieties, often other agronomic features such as disease resistance are sometimes overlooked. The fungicides at our disposal today are capable of producing extremely good results, but it is important to apply as much thought to the fungicide programme and timings as to the choice of product, to achieve optimum yield potential.

Over recent years, the emphasis has moved away from reactive fungicide applications to treat visible disease in the crop, and more towards a strategy where prevention is better than cure. To achieve this, the fungicides must be applied at the correct time and early in the development of the disease, or even before infection occurs, with timing infl uenced by growth stage, weather and the variety’s disease resistance.

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Introducing Spring Seeds 2021

Introducing Spring Seeds 2021

After the challenge of harvest 2020, we go into 2021 hoping for an improved year not only in agriculture but that Covid-19 will slowly dissipate with the distribution of a vaccine. From a purely agricultural point of view, there is already more optimism that the majority of crops planned to be drilled in autumn 2021 have been.

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Your Seed Team at Astley

Wynnstay has a proud history of supplying quality seed to our farm customers and as we move into a new era of smart sustainable farming, Wynnstay is set to make sure that customers have the best seed technology and advice available to them. Whether it is over the phone, email or on-farm we have a dedicated seed team across the UK servicing their needs.

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Best Autumn Cereals revealed at Trials Event

Growers and agronomists from across the UK will be selecting the top-performing cereal varieties to use on-farm this autumn at Wynnstay Woodheads Arable event.
The popular annual event on Thursday, 20th June, at Stockbridge Technology Centre, Selby, in Yorkshire, will help growers to make informed decisions on the best varieties to choose ahead of autumn.

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Is Yield Still King?

For UK wheat growers, trying to decide between choosing a crop with high yield or a crop with good grain quality is not a new dilemma.

Many different varieties on the market provide the option to grow a quality grain but this often means having to endure a small yield penalty and increased growing costs. The question is then posed; is the decision to forego that few percent of yield worth it and will premiums compensate for this loss? Currently, we have around 27% of the UK wheat area sown to Group 1 varieties, higher than it has been for many years, and we have the unusual scenario of Skyfall being the most widely grown variety in the UK.

 

UK wheat market share figures
The market share of quality wheats and feed varieties. Of particular interest is the share of Group 1s which has increased to around 27%.

The large amount of breadmaking wheat on the market is likely to give millers the option to pick and choose their requirements, meaning that premiums may suffer accordingly. At the time of writing, Group 1 premiums for harvest 2018 are predicted to be around £15/T. Group 2 plantings are also on the increase with KWS Lili and KWS Siskin growing in popularity, mainly due to their high yield and solid agronomics. Recent developments with KWS Siskin mean it has the potential to generate a premium on par with the Group 1’s, in a similar way to Cordiale, but it will need a 13% protein to achieve this and that will be a challenge. Group 2 premiums are generally expected to be around £10/T for full milling specification.

Premiums for Group 3 biscuit wheats have recently been similar to those of the very best breadmaking varieties and this may continue as plantings have not increased dramatically. The chart above shows that the area into Group 3 varieties is at a very low level and current trade expectations are that premiums will be around £10/T.

New Group 3 varieties offer high yield potential and solid agronomics but there is still a yield gap to make up on the top feed varieties, particularly in the western region.

The newer, very high yielding feed varieties offer the best yields available, particularly RGT Gravity that out-yields everything else regardless of region, rotational position or soil type. Graham also yields just as well in the western region.

The charts on the next page show how the potential returns from growing the top performing varieties in each of the nabim groups.

Yields are taken from the AHDB Recommended List for both the east and west regions. Whilst a good quality hard feed wheat can often achieve a small premium, for this exercise we have assumed a standard feed wheat price is paid. Full premiums are often not achieved, and in recognition of this, the charts show the income by variety where the full premium is achieved (blue bars) and where only half the premium is achieved (orange bars).

Agronomic factors such as straw strength and disease ratings have not been taken into account in the assessments. This produces slightly unrealistic results as ratings for yellow rust and septoria tritici would, in normal circumstances, have a huge impact on variety choice, particularly in areas of the country susceptible to these diseases. This would greatly increase the appeal of the cleaner, lower risk varieties such as KWS Siskin, Graham or KWS Zyatt.

Adjustments have been made for an extra 40 kg/ha of N on the Group 1 and Group 2 varieties.

 

Eastern region
Growing for the local market is a well-known adage. There are good markets for Group 1 varieties in the east and the market conditions for Group 2’s across the UK are determined by the supply and demand of quality milling wheats at harvest. However, the current dominance of biscuit wheats in the east is demonstrated to be a sensible economic decision in this simple comparison.

Whilst KWS Zyatt has the top rating at the full premium level, the Group 3 wheats Elicit and KWS Barrel have a high ‘gross output’ at both premium levels. This is reassuring to see as these soft milling biscuit wheats are popular with end users in this region and are sure to be favoured by growers too.

The blue bars show the return if the full premium is achieved.
The orange bars show the return if half the premium is achieved.

 

Western region
In the west, the variety that stands out again is the breadmaking wheat KWS Zyatt, which produces a very attractive income. However, when looking at the bars for half premium, which may be considered more realistic, the hard feed varieties RGT Gravity and Graham are not far behind. Graham scores particularly well in the west where it yields on a par with RGT Gravity and has excellent septoria resistance. These feed varieties compare well with the other nabim group options when looking at the half premium rates and, as we have often seen, can generate a small premium themselves if possessing good grain quality.

The blue bars show the return if the full premium is achieved.
The orange bars show the return if half the premium is achieved.

 

Conclusion
The charts show that there are relatively small differences between the output of the top varieties in the four nabim groups. Increased plantings of Group 1s are expected to generate relatively modest premiums but it is reassuring to see that, in this exercise, the soft biscuit wheats have excellent returns in the east (where most of the end use markets can be found) and in the west (where most

Whilst KWS Zyatt has the top rating at the full premium level, the Group 3 wheats Elicit and KWS Barrel have a high ‘gross output’ at both premium levels. This is reassuring to see as these soft milling biscuit wheats are popular with end users in this region and are sure to be favoured by growers too.

west where it yields on a par with RGT Gravity and has excellent septoria resistance. These feed varieties compare well with the other nabim group options when looking at the half premium rates and, as we have often seen, can generate a small premium themselves if possessing good grain quality. feed mills exist) the charts show the feed varieties producing a high ‘gross output’. The one variety that bucks this trend is KWS Zyatt which has huge potential in both regions. This is a wheat that can be successfully grown in the 1st and 2nd wheat position, has a very high untreated yield demonstrating solid disease ratings, and is sure to be favoured by growers across the UK.

Richard Torr

Richard Torr
Seed Sales Manager
m: 07990 578551
Email Richard

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