This week saw the annual publication of the AHDB Recommended List. This year sees a new look to the list with a move back to a one-page wheat round up. This is likely to be welcomed by many of us as it's easier to view, especially if this carries through to the printed version.
Welcome new varieties
Although wheat varieties are down to one page there are still a weighty 41 to choose from. What's encouraging is that the five new wheat additions this year (Elicit, RGT Gravity Gleam, KWS Jackal and Elation) are varieties that appear to have strong yield scores. In the case of Elicit, it also offers stronger septoria resistance to the Group 3 sector.
New Group 4 hard wheat RGT Gravity now has the accolade of being the highest yielding variety as both a first and second wheat. Meanwhile, Gleam (also a Group 4 hard) has an excellent balance of very high yield and strong disease resistance for Orange Wheat Blossom Midge (OWBM).
KWS Jackal (a soft Group 4) now tops its Group and appears to have performed well in the north. Interestingly, RGT Gravity was released in small quantities last year due to exceptional performance in Frontier 3DThinking trials. Feedback on performance at establishment this season has also been very positive, even where it was drilled later.
Oilseed rape has seen the most significant change in how the Recommended List is structured with all regional varieties now on the same page. This makes it easier to compare those varieties which are recommended for one region with each other. The new OSR recommendations are mainly for the north, all of which are conventional open-pollinated varieties. There is one addition to the full UK list and that is a new Turnip Yellows Virus (TuYV) resistant variety, Architect. What is clear is that the trend for growing northern-suited varieties in the east and west of England may be compromising yield. There is 8% deficit between Barbados and high performers (such as Flamingo) when they are grown in the east and west.
Winter barley has remained relatively unchanged with no new 2-row feed additions. There are two potential new malting varieties, but until full approval is achieved there will be relatively minor interest. There are a few 6-row additions and these highlight the yield improvement that that hybrids have shown for the last few years.
The new candidate lists are now also available and give us an insight into varieties for the future. OSR tends to hit the market first with new varieties such as Ballad and DK Expansion likely to be available for drilling in 2018. These have looked very promising in 3DThinking trials so far.
We are looking forward to continuing following the progress of these new candidates this season. This simplified new layout is a very welcome tool to help us do that.
Regional Seed Manager, Central/South/East regions
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