Peter Brundle, Hutchinsons Commercial Seeds Support

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Peter Brundle, Hutchinsons commercial seeds support, takes a look at the latest entrants to the HGCA Recommended List and gives his recommendations for varieties to sow this coming autumn.

Winter Wheat
Ten years ago the UK wheat market was focused on quality bread and biscuit making varieties and three quarters of the market was based on the marketability of wheat.  However, in recent years the market has been dominated by feed wheat varieties with lower quality characteristics which have challenged the country’s ability to export into an increasingly competitive European export market explains Mr Brundle.
“We are starting to see a change back to wheats that combine high yields with good quality characteristics for both domestic and export markets and  all of this autumn’s new HGCA recommended varieties display these characteristics KWS Trinity (Group 1), KWS Lili (Group 2) Britannia and RGT Conversion (Group 3), Reflection and Costello (Group 4).”
“Last autumn’s sowings saw a new trend towards more robust agronomic varieties with market share growth from Skyfall, Crusoe , Revelation, Leeds, JB Diego  and Evolution and we would expect these varieties to maintain their popularity this autumn. The variety Belepi has also proved popular with growers due to its wide drilling window and competitive growth habit.”

Winter Barley
Winter barley also saw an increase in popularity last season he says. “Feed varieties dominate this sector with the main choice between high yielding conventional two row varieties and the flexible six row hybrid’s.”

KWS Infinity is the highest yielding two row barley on the recommended list joining the already popular Glacier and Tower, which are all Retriever x Cassia crosses. Hyvido Fletcher joins Hyvido Volume as a hybrid barley which performed exceptionally well in 2014. A wider sowing window coupled with vigorous and competitive growth characteristics should continue to prove popular with growers looking for effective grassweed control.

Oilseed Rape
Mr Brundle believes that the oilseed rape variety options have never been better, with new entrants from most major breeders offering diverse genetic options for growers this autumn.

“The risks associated with establishing and producing an economic return from the crop are high and growers are advised to select from the newer options available to manage this risk. Vigorous establishing varieties that display good tolerance to LLS, Stem Canker and Verticillium Wilt should take precedence, “ he says.
The new Hybrids – SY Harnas, Fencer, Popular and DK Exalte are all good choices but also consider the established Hybrids – Harper, Incentive, PT211 and PR46W21 are all sound choices.         
With regards to Conventionals, KWS Campus is the stand out new variety in this sector and has a recommendation for East/West and North regions.
“If weed control is an issue then Dekalb and Pioneer have some effective Clearfield® variety choices including DK Imperial and PT229CL.”
“With increasing concerns around the threat from TuYV, the gross output results from the conventional variety Amalie will be interesting, as the full benefits of its unique TuYV resistance should be more readily quantifiable.”
All of the above varieties are fully detailed in Hutchinsons new ‘Seed & Varieties Information Book’ which can be ordered from the website