22nd June 2020

Soft feed wheats challenge the dominant hard feed market

Back in the spring of 2019, Limagrain UK’s arable technical manager Ron Granger, challenged the perception that hard feed wheats have higher yields and better quality over soft wheats. Harvest 2019 results confirmed this, as soft wheats LG Skyscraper and LG Spotlight kept their place at the very top of the yield table, whilst delivering on their valuable quality attributes.

LG Skyscraper

LG Skyscraper is one of the highest yielding wheats overall on the 2020-2021 AHDB Recommended List at 105% of control, sharing the top of the leader board with newly recommended hard wheats SY Insitor (105%), and KWS Kinetic (104%).

LG Spotlight sits just below this at 103% of control, matching the yields of hard wheat favourites Gleam and KWS Gravity, both yielding 103%, out yielding KWS Kerrin and Graham on 102%.

LG Spotlight’s impressive grain quality credentials remained intact last year; the variety has a very good specific weight of 77.9 kg/hl combined with one of the highest Hagberg falling numbers available at 288.

Ron Granger LG Arable Technical Manager

Ron Granger, Arable Technical Manager

“The stop-start 2019 harvest proved the robustness of these characteristics; the value of a high Hagberg combined with a high level of sprouting resistance, provides security when wet weather delays harvest,” says Ron.

“It’s important to note that this combination of quality credentials as found in LG Spotlight, is rarely seen in a soft wheat – and is normally only seen in some top bread varieties.”

LG Skyscraper offers a large grain and its specific weight of 76.9 kg/hl and HFN coming in at 218 , continue to make it an attractive package when compared to other feed varieties.”

“It’s important that varieties show consistency in performance over seasons, and the season of 2019 has certainly proved that Limagrain’s soft wheats are not just varieties that perform well in dry seasons, as we had in 2017 and 2018.”

LG Spotlight winter wheat from Limagrain

LG Spotlight

“If you are growing feed wheat for high yield potential with good grain quality, then the soft wheats LG Skyscraper and LG Spotlight certainly offer attributes better than, or equal to the best hard feed wheats available .”

“Both are suitable for distilling and are also being used by some millers for gristing, attracting a premium if grain specifications are met. Other specialist industries such as Weetabix, also attract a premium so its well worth finding out what contracts are available in your region.”

Harvest 2019 results showed these high yields are achievable using standard farm inputs. In a Limagrain farm trial in Scotland, the soft wheats took the top yields; LG Spotlight yielded 10.4 t/ha, followed by LG Skyscraper at 10.3t/ha, with hard wheats Gleam and RGT Gravity yielding 9.7t/ha.

For Russ McKenzie of John Sheard Farms, LG Skyscraper was one of the top yielding wheats in 2019, producing yields of 12.09t/ha.


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