The first harvest results for AHDB Recommended List (RL) winter wheat trials have been published. Results include three treated sites, two from Lincolnshire and one from Hampshire.
The average yield of control varieties in these trials stands at 9.29 tonnes/hectare, well behind the five-year average of 10.87t/ha.
The Lincolnshire trials were particularly low yielding, with the Spalding trial control average just 7.64t/ha. This reflects the difficult growing season experienced by many, though average yields may improve as more trial results come in, says AHDB.
Yields are represented as a percentage of the control varieties. In 2020, Skyfall, KWS Siskin, KWS Barrel, Elation and Gleam are the control varieties. The yield average from these varieties is represented as 100 per cent.
In the nabim Group 1 quality wheats, Skyfall leads at 98 per cent of controls, with Zyatt just behind at 97 per cent and Crusoe and Illustrious at 95 per cent. In the nabim Group 2 varieties, KWS Extase leads at 101 per cent, with KWS Siskin at 98 per cent and LG Detroit, which is recommended for the East/West region, at 96 per cent. In the nabim Group 3s, KWS Firefly has performed well (103 per cent), matching many feed varieties for yield, with KWS Barrel (99 per cent) and Elicit (98 per cent) some way behind on yield, according to the results.
In the Group 4 feed varieties the new variety RGT Saki leads at this early stage (105 per cent), with a group of varieties just behind at 103 per cent (Elation, KWS Kerrin, RGT Gravity and the new variety SY Insitor).
The 2020 results show yields based on one season. The five-year average (2016 to 2020) is a better measure of variety performance over seasons, explains AHDB.
In the nabim Group 1 quality wheats, KWS Zyatt leads at 98 per cent. In the nabim Group 2s KWS Extase and KWS Siskin are both at 100 per cent, while in the nabim Group 3s KWS Firefly (101 per cent) is just ahead of KWS Barrel (100 per cent).
In the Group 4 feed varieties, LG Skyscraper and the new varieties SY Insitor and RGT Saki are all 104 per cent, with the new variety KWS Kinetic and Gleam both at 103 per cent, says AHDB.
The five-year averages are the best way to judge the potential of the candidate varieties, according to AHDB. All the candidates are spread across a narrow range of yields, from 100 to 103 per cent. In the Group 4 candidates, KWS Cranium (103 per cent) leads, but is matched for yield by the potential nabim Group 3 biscuit making variety LG Prince. The only potential bread-making variety, LG Seeker, is at 101 per cent, but this will be judged more on its quality than its yield, says AHDB.
With only three trials in so far, these results should be treated with caution, especially after a year of such extremes. As more information becomes available, a clearer pattern of variety performance in 2020 will develop, says AHDB.