Looking ahead to autumn 2024, there are several new wheat and barley varieties worthy of attention, but with many sections the offer has not changed dramatically this year. Peter Brundle, Hutchinsons southern seed manager, highlights his wheat and barley recommendations for drilling this autumn.

Winter barley

Following on from the new genetics for BYDV-tolerant hybrid barley launched in autumn 2023, we will see BYDV resistant barley for the first time this season in the form of SY Kestrel. However, availability will be extremely limited, with only a few hundred packs available.

The Hyvido share of the feed barley market is likely to remain at similar levels this autumn at circa 27%, although there will be greater growth from two-row barleys in the shape of both LG Caravelle and the newly recommended LG Capitol.

KWS Tardis will undoubtedly remain a popular choice, having taken the market by storm in autumn 2022 and followed up with increased market share in autumn 2023. KWS have their first hybrid barley in the guise of KWS Inys, which offers high yields, stiff straw and low brackling. Early maturity (-1) coupled with good untreated yield provides a different route to market for hybrid barley.

Winter wheat

Crusoe and RGT Illustrious will be the millers’ preferred quality options, as they were last year. Newly recommended SY Cheer, while cleaner than the tried and tested varieties, has yet to gain full approval as a Group 1, and will be further evaluated on this year’s performance.

Skyfall and Zyatt still hold a significant presence within the sector despite needing greater management, particularly for yellow rust. Skyfall offers the greatest drilling window while still being the only variety in group 1 and 2 to offer orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) resistance.

KWS Extase will remain the market leader in the group 2 sector, while KWS Ultimatum offers potential for the north.

Feed and biscuit wheats

There are two new outstanding feed wheat considerations on the back of the successful KWS Dawsum and Champion, with LG Redwald having set the standard for yield potential.

As highlighted a year ago, Bamford has strolled on to the AHDB-Recommended List (RL) as the highest yielding group 3 wheat, offering yields at least 6% higher than its contemporaries while offering the potential for biscuit making (with premium), distilling and export; only KWS Extase has higher untreated yield. Its regional performance in the west merits further consideration.

LG Beowulf has joined Champion at the top of the RL, providing excellent yield in the north and stiff straw (8s for both treated and untreated resistance to lodging), excellent grain quality, good yellow rust resistance and decent for septoria as well. It also offers OWBM resistance.

Blackstone is the new soft group 4 from Elsoms to challenge LG Redwald, with excellent yellow rust resistance and superior standing ability and bushel weight.

Gleam still appears to have remarkable consistency and Graham remains a popular choice in the west. It is, of course, also suitable for early drilling which we are likely to see more of this autumn.

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