Practical On-Farm Experience Will Help Growers Optimise Variety Performance

Farmers and agronomists looking to extract maximum performance from RAGT’s leading combinable crop varieties will be able to tap into a new source of practical advice this season.

The information will be generated from commercial crops grown by several respected growers around the country.

Each of the growers has been chosen as a case study for one variety. RAGT, in conjunction with these growers, will monitor crop development and pass on key messages that develop as the season progresses to other farmers growing RAGT varieties.

The scheme will cover a range of species. In the first instance, winter wheat varieties RGT Skyfall and RGT Gravity will feature, together with RGT Windozz oilseed rape. Spring barley and winter oats coverage is also planned.

Information will be relayed through RAGT’s newsletter, website and via social media to ensure it is as topical as possible.

Messages will be centred on key timings, for example T1 and T2 fungicide timings in wheat, but will also include alerts and observations from the field at any time if they are likely to benefit other growers.


G1 Milling Wheat Varieties

Assistant manager Will Baker, at Thoresby Home Farm, near Perlethorpe in Nottinghamshire, is well placed to offer advice on Group 1 milling wheat RGT Skyfall, which has featured on the farm for the past three years.

Will says the variety copes well with the farm’s thin sandy land, where most of the 265ha of the variety is being grown, yielding 8.5t/ha this past harvest even with the extreme dry in the spring and the heat in the early summer.

Heavier land allowed the variety to make more of its potential, hitting 10-11.5t/ha. The variety also does well when drilled late – most of the crop was in the ground by mid-November, but a further 20ha still remained in the bag to follow sugar beet and potatoes.

Nationally, RGT Skyfall is the most widely grown winter wheat, the first time a milling wheat has achieved this for more than a quarter of a century.

Its combination of high yields, excellent quality and good functionality has made it an out-and-out favourite among UK milling wheat growers and end users.

RGT Skyfall has also taken a large share of the UK feed wheat market, thanks to its high output, good straw characteristics and very strong agronomics.


G4 Hard Feed Wheat Varieties

Bedfordshire grower Alex Bates is growing 78 ha of Group 4 feed wheat candidate RGT Gravity at Lower Honeydon Farm, near Sandy.

Key attractions include very high yield potential, orange wheat blossom midge resistance and flexibility as a first and second wheat. Alex sowed the variety during late September and the first week of October.

The crops got off to a strong start and he has high hopes that RGT Gravity will take the farm’s average yields up another step. Currently feed wheats average 10-11t/ha across the board.

RGT Gravity produces consistently high yields in the field – a real out-and out barn filler. It has also swept the board in official trials, having outperformed all other varieties on the Recommended List trials and in NL1 and NL2.

RGT Gravity produces high quality grain, and is set to be a real winner. Seed production was fast-tracked to help meet high demand this autumn.



Oilseed Rape Varieties

Billy Wrisdale, manager at GH Parker (North Cotes) Ltd, is growing 150ha of Windozz oilseed rape for the second year running at Grange Farm, near Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

Reliability and high yields are key as the farm has expanded and now grows 560ha of OSR.

RGT Windozz’s good autumn vigour enables more flexibility with drilling dates, while its earliness to harvest helps spread the combine’s workload, says Billy.

It is also easy to combine thanks to its short, stiff straw. The variety averaged 4.46t/ha last harvest, compared with the farm average of 4.35t/ha.

RGT Windozz is the highest yielding hybrid on the East/West list. It is one of the earliest varieties to get away in the spring and one of the earliest hybrids to mature.

This, plus solid disease resistance to both light leaf spot and stem canker and its strong standing ability offers reliability up to and through harvest.


Next Month

We will be catching up with Billy, seeing how his crop came through the autumn and early winter and looking at his agronomy plans for the early spring.