“Although wheat yields in general have been better than expected this year we are particularly pleased with the outstanding performance of our two biscuit wheat varieties due for recommendation this autumn, Britannia and Energise,” says Ron Granger, arable technical manager for Limagrain UK.
“2014 was a very different year to 2013 with very high levels of disease recorded and it’s never clear how varieties will perform from season to season, but what we have seen is that both varieties have kept their place in the trialing process as strong contenders for yield across very different seasons and climatic challenges.”
“These results are based on the data from the HGCA provisional harvest reports for this year to date from across 23 sites, which is a significant amount of data, so we are highly confident that these candidates have an opportunity of being added to the 2015 HGCA Recommended List. Considering they are biscuit wheats these are very good results as many of the hard group 4’s have only just managed these levels this year.”
With their exceptional performances Energise and Britannia have the potential to set new yield standards in the Group 3 sector. “Of the two varieties, Britannia leads with a solid average yield of 105, performing particularly well in the Suffolk trials outperforming all other wheats at 107. The variety has also shown exceptional performance in untreated trials, at 128, where its very high rating for yellow rust and Septoria tritici resistance have clearly been seen to their full benefit.”
Britannia is similar in height to Invicta and JB Diego, the variety is moderately stiff strawed, and is similar in ripening maturity to Scout. Britannia also offers a very good disease resistance profile, with a provisional rating of 8 for yellow rust resistance and a rating of 6 for septoria tritici combined with good grain quality attributes.
“Britannia has good grain quality attributes and initial data would suggest that the variety is suitable for the biscuit, export, bio ethanol and feed markets,” adds Mr Granger.
The second of the two biscuit wheats, Energise, has also performed very well with a 2014 mean of 103 and 107 at the Gloucs site and Cheshire sites – equal to the leading hard feed wheats. However Energise is a very different variety agronomically in comparison to Britannia, offering growers a variety with many associated traits inherited from its parent Oakley, says Mr Granger.
Energise is a short strawed variety with good lodging resistance and the combination of high tillering, a semi-prostrate growth habit and later ear development in the spring we would suggest the variety may be a possible candidate for the early drilling sector. “Although Energise does not offer the same good disease resistance profile as Britannia, the variety again offers good yellow rust resistance along with the resistance to WOBM.”
“Energise’s soft endosperm, together with potential for distilling and export opportunities from limited test results, would suggest that it is a variety with several market opportunities.”
Time will tell if these candidates from Limagrain will meet the criteria for inclusion onto the HGCA RL this autumn but on the whole the varieties have maintained a good performance both in Limagrain’s and HGCA official trials this season Mr Granger notes.
For a full set of trials results go to the HGCA website www.hgca.co.uk