The trend towards later drilling of wheat is adds nothing to consistency of yields and is making it harder to hit higher yields.
That is the view of Jock Willmott, partner, farming at Strutt and Parker, who spoke in the CropTec 2017 Crop Breeding seminar. Trials of different RL winter wheat varieties on a client’s Bedfordshire-based farm on clay land showed a two-week difference in reaching a full plant stand between earliest and latest varieties after drilling on October 10, 2016. And there was a 1.38t/ha (0.56t/acre) difference between the lowest and highest yielding varieties.
“According to the RL there should have been a 10 per cent difference, but on farm this was 12 per cent. Agronomics on farm are not picked up on the RL. There is a £1m cost in getting a variety into production – could more of the money be spent on developing more agronomic information on fewer varieties so that when they come on farm they give better yields?” questioned Mr Willmott.
Talk to end user – what suits their specification?
Consult AHDB Recommended List – consider traits important to your situation
Check breeders’ websites – information on strengths and weaknesses and how to make the best of varieties on-farm
Look at resellers’ (seed sellers’) comments
Headline yield is not always vital to maximise profit
Take professional advice
Source: Peter Riley, Farmacy, Norfolk, CropTec 2017 Crop Breeding Seminar