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Recommended List or Descriptive List?

Eleven winter wheat varieties have been added to the 2017/18 Recommended List, making it a significant year for new varieties.

A variety with exceptional quality is KWS Zyatt, a provisional group 1. KWS Zyatt also offers stiff straw and a high untreated yield which is 9% ahead of Skyfall according to niab. The grain quality is respectable and is said to perform well as a second wheat.

There are no new Group 2 or Group 3 varieties but there are six new soft Group 4 entrants. The two leading varieties are Bennington and LG Sundance which have yields just 2% below the top hard Group 4 varieties but offer improved marketing opportunities.

Suitable for export, Bennington offers a good specific weight along with stiff straw and a solid yellow rust resistance. LG Sundance is a soft Group 4 from Limagrain and has excellent resistance to yellow rust along with the best septoria rating on the Recommended List at a score of 7.3.

Syngenta have introduced the variety Savello which is susceptible to brown rust but has good resistance to yellow rust. Savello is said to be suited to the North of England where high yields are expected albeit through limited data. Savello has a low specific weight when compared to the others in its group.


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Another variety from Limagrain is LG Motown which is an early distilling variety with excellent yellow rust and septoria resistance as well as orange wheat blossom midge.

The Elsoms variety Moulton offers opportunity for distilling and export, along with good rust and septoria resistance.

The sixth new variety in this group is Hardwicke from KWS. The variety is similar yielding to the other five Group 4’s and has good yellow rust and septoria resistance.

Each of the varieties listed seem to have a lot to offer and are a good addition to the Recommended List.

Four new hard feed varieties have been added to the List. These varieties are KWS Kerrin, Shabras, Freiston and Dunston.

KWS Kerrin has good resistance to orange wheat blossom midge and yellow rust. Like Kerrin, Shabras, a Syngenta variety, h as good yellow rust and septoria resistance and also offers earlier ripening but weaker straw. Shabras is however susceptible to brown rust.

Freiston is a variety from Elsoms and is slightly less yielding in terms of percentage than the other hard feed varieties and its tall straw may not be in its favour. Freiston does however have yellow rust and septoria resistance.

Finally, Dunstan, also from Elsoms, has a similar disease resistance and yield to Freiston but improved straw quality being taller and stiffer.

Moving onto Winter Barley, the Recommended List has introduced one new 2 row variety, KWS Creswell. This variety is ideal for the North of England. Syngenta have added the variety Sunningdale which is a 6 row hybrid variety with yields similar to Bazooka. When comparing Sunningdale to Bazooka, the variety is earlier to ripen and has a lower specific weight and a disease profile that is very similar.

Lastly, KWS Funky is a conventional six row variety with exceptional yield, short, stiff straw and a good disease profile.

Three new Winter Oat varieties have been introduced to the Recommended List. Whether they will steal any limelight from Mascani is doubtful as the quality doesn’t quite match that of the long standing variety. However RGT Victorious is a high yielding variety with good specific weight and early ripening. Victorious is susceptible to mildew and having a tall straw, can also be affected by lodging.

Griffin from Senova is also a high yielding variety that is tall but with stiffer straw. Griffin has a lower specific weight to Victorious and is susceptible to both crown rust and mildew.

Senova have also introduced Peloton to the Recommended List. Peloton is a naked oat and is 5% higher yielding than existing naked oat varieties. Peloton has resistance to crown rust and mildew but also boasts moderate straw strength.

Whilst these new varieties do seem to have a place, the list is now so large it has to be put across 2 pages and there are older varieties who’s market share is so small it is surprising to see them still on the list. With the extensive choice on offer, it will be a difficult decision this following season for growers to make their decision.