RGT Gravity builds on its barn-filling reputation

RAGT’s leading Group 4 hard winter wheat has had another strong year, delivering some exceptional yields and underlining its reputation as a consistent performer.


Exceeding expectations in Bucks


New winter wheat variety RGT Gravity has produced better-than-expected yields on JH Seed & Son’s Oxford clays, despite the cold, wet spring and long dry spell leading up to harvest.


Roger Seed, who farms in partnership with his father Jonathan at Upper Peppershill Farm, Long Crendon, Bucks, grew 82ha of RGT Gravity for seed this season.


The variety, which gained automatic promotion onto the 2018/19 Recommended List due to its exceptionally high yields, averaged more than 10.5t/ha at 12-15% moisture with a specific weight of 78-80kg/hl, easily outperforming the other variety on the farm.


The crop followed OSR and peas and was drilled early to mid October at 375 seeds/sq m. It tillered profusely in the early spring to compete well with blackgrass.


“It coped well with the wet and hung on well in the dry, probably helped by FYM and our heavy soils,” says Roger.


“The crop responded well to early N and we were well on top of PGRs.” The fungicide programme was robust, employing SDHI fungicides at T1 and T2.


Roger and Jonathan have already ordered next year’s crop of RGT Gravity. “We look forward to another good year with this exciting variety.”


Seed crop delivers extra 1t/ha


A seed crop of RGT Gravity has outperformed all other wheats on PC Tinsley Limited’s fertile silty loams between Holbeach and Spalding in Lincolnshire.


About 32ha of the variety drilled in late October after potatoes and sugar beet yielded 13t/ha. A further 8ha drilled in early December following sugar beet achieved 11.6t/ha.


“The earlier-drilled block was easily the best performer across our 220ha of wheat, out-yielding the next best variety drilled at a similar time by around 1t/ha – a terrific result,” says director Mark Tinsley.


“I was also especially pleased by its late-drilled performance – its seems to handle December drilling very well.”


Basic seed was sown at a low 50kg/ha rate, but grew strongly in the spring and tillered well, producing plenty of big heads at harvest.


“We didn’t go over the top with inputs – I believe good timing is the critical thing,” says Mark. “We applied a middle-of-the-road fungicide programme, and total nitrogen was about 180kg/ha.”


Most of the crop was cut in the second week of August and the later-drilled area about 10 days later at under 15% moisture. Grain quality was excellent at 77-78kg/hl


“This is the second year RGT Gravity has been our top performer,” says Mark. “Consistency is key when dealing with Mother Nature, so it makes sense to look at the five-year mean in AHDB trials when considering what to grow as a commercial wheat.


“Based on that performance and our own experience, I’ll be growing RGT Gravity across 50% of my commercial wheat area next season, as well as for seed.”


Consistency is key


Tom Dummett, Cereal and OSR product manager at RAGT, says that the AHDB five-year mean results are key when choosing new varieties.


“It is always tempting to use the current season’s figures – it’s natural to think of them as the most relevant,” says Tom.


“However, we rarely get two similar seasons in a row, and we haven’t seen one like this since 1976.


“It is therefore crucial to look at how varieties perform over several different seasons. RGT Gravity’s current five-year mean score (after 27 results) of 104.2% puts it top of all hard wheat, underlining its consistency.”


Growing a reliable wheat is key to helping reduce the volatility and uncertainty in crop production that are outside a farmer’s control, says ProCam’s Mike Thornton.


“Growers need to do all they can to remove risks from their operation, and growing a stable variety like RGT Gravity makes sense.”


Profitable wheat growing is all about cost per tonne. RGT Gravity is a high-input variety and a very high output one, which should deliver very good results, says Mike.


“It has certainly been there or thereabouts in our trials. It has become one of our core recommendations and is likely to be a big seller this autumn.”