12th September 2022

High yielding, early to harvest wheat variety bucks the trend

LG Motown is a top-yielding soft wheat which meets the needs of the distilling market, and bucks the trend of early maturing varieties producing lower yields so, unlike other high yielding wheats, LG Motown doesn’t rely on having a longer grain fill period to build high yields.

This is particularly exciting news for growers who have to harvest early due to rotational and time constraints such as drilling oilseed rape or potato harvesting, and will no doubt be of great interest to northern growers who place a high value on early maturity, says Ed Flatman, senior wheat breeder for Limagrain.

He says that it has been a key objective of the Limagrain breeding programme to unlock the antagonism that had previously existed between early maturing wheats and yields.

“When looking at the AHDB Recommended List, LG Motown stands apart from the crowd in terms of its relative maturity, which is a day earlier than the control variety JB Diego, whilst producing very high yields of 103% in the east, and 104% in the north – and these yields sit well within the entire group of soft and hard Group 4’s – so are pretty impressive, says Mr Flatman.
This yield is also reflected in untreated trials, where LG Motown yields at 89% of the treated control; up 3% from that of Revelation.

“This shows just how robust the variety’s excellent disease resistance ratings are, with a top score of 9 for yellow rust, 7 for brown rust and an 8 for mildew, and a good rating of 6 for Septoria tritici.”

Mr Flatman points out that LG Motown has similar grain attributes to other leading commercial soft feed varieties on the list, with a specific weight of 75.3 kg/hl and a HFN of 217 – so alongside the high yields parallel to hard Group 4’s. LG Motown also offers distilling opportunities – a valuable proposition particularly for growers in the north.

Agronomics on offer

Ron Granger, technical arable manager with Limagrain, notes that LG Motown is a ‘Revelation type’ but with the additional benefits of WOBM resistance and early maturity – agronomic characters that growers have been asking for when looking to replace Revelation.

LG Motown does not have the eyespot resistance that Revelation possesses and although this should not be an issue in most circumstances, the use of a prescribed fungicide for eyespot control should be implemented if conditions for high disease levels occur, he says.

“The variety has a prostrate winter growth habit identified by a quicker growth and more erect plant type in the spring. These characters along with the variety’s performance in a later drilling scenario would suggest the variety should be of use in a blackgrass situation.”

LG Motown is a moderate to high tillering variety, which is a valuable trait when seed rate or plant counts have been compromised, he adds.

“However, it is not as stiff-strawed as Revelation, and is not a variety that should be drilled early; its optimum drilling date is mid–Sept onwards. Revelation or Claire should be the varieties of choice for this situation.”

Mr Granger points out that whilst the variety has shown very good yield performance across differing soil types, LG Motown’s performance on light soils is comparable with the best varieties available, possibly due to its more rapid spring growth, better specific weight and early maturity characteristics.

Due to his large potato enterprise, Andrew Smales of Manor Farm, near Hull, is always looking for ways to bring his wheat harvest forward to spread the workload and reduce risk from erratic weather at harvest.

“Our aim is to have a spread of maturities so that we can spread the workload at what is a very busy time! Having an early variety is particularly important and I have grown Beluga and Grafton in this slot, but I’m now looking for something with higher yields.”

“We have done well with Revelation in the past, so this year, on the advice of our seed specialist Marc Lanham from Nickerson, we are trialling 8ha of LG Motown based on its earliness and disease resistance profile,” he says.

“So far we are really pleased with the crop, the LG Motown has looked good from the start, it tillered out well, remained prostrate for longer in the early spring, and was in ear a week before the Revelation or Evolution in neighbouring fields and it’s looking promising as we head towards harvest – if it does well it would be a real contender for more acres next year.”

LG Motown’s resistance ratings have meant that Mr Smales’ agronomist, Alastair Moore of Holderness Agroservices, could recommend a lower cost fungicide programme, opting for just one SDHI at T2 to which the crop has responded well.

“I am always more confident taking this approach when varieties have shown a good run of consistency in performance with the ever changing rust races. Yellow rust and Septoria are the main disease issues here in this region, and despite some serious pressure from both earlier on in the season, the LG Motown has remained clean.”

  • 8 ha drilled 24th September 2016
  • Seed rate: 360 seeds/m2
  • Fungicide inputs:
    • T0 first week of April:6l/ha Rubric (epoxiconazole) 1l/ha CTL
    • T1 last week of April: 1l/ha Brutus (epoxiconazole + metconazole), 1l CTL
    • T2 third week May: 1l/ha Brutus (epoxiconazole + metconazole), 1l/ha Imtrex (fluxapyroxad), 1l/ha CTL
    • T3 15th June: 0.5l/ha Kestrel (prothioconazole+ tebuconazole)
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