There were no new additions to the winter wheat recommended list this season. It was released on Monday 18 September by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. There are just five varieties on the list – all fully recommended. There is clearly a gap in the market for more wheat varieties.
A number of varieties with the variety Cougar in their heritage were taken off the list as they broke down against septoria. This variety was included in a number of varieties on their way to the market, so we are still seeing the effect of this in the list.
There are a number of varieties with seed availability not included on the list and while they are currently in trial with the Department, there is not enough data available to be provisionally recommended. Champion and Fitzroy are two of these varieties.
Torp is the highest-yielding variety on the list. It is available from Drummonds, so it is mainly confined to the north east and midlands. It has a relative yield score of 104. It is the second tallest variety on the list after JB Diego.
JB Diego remains a firm favourite among many growers, but this year it made up just 1% of the seed area.
KWS Dawsum rates very well on straw quality. It has a score of seven for both resistance to lodging and straw breakdown. Torp also scores a seven for resistance to lodging, while JB Diego hits a seven on straw breakdown.
Graham is the earliest ripener on the list with a score of 7. Torp has the lowest score on this front with a score of five.
Resistance to disease is the big factor with wheat varieties. Graham, KWS Dawsum and Spearhead all score an eight for resistance to mildew. Torp has a score of just five here, but mildew is relatively easy to control so it is not a major concern.
Torp does have the highest resistance rating against septoria at a six, while JB Diego comes in last on this front with a score of four. All other varieties are on a score of five for resistance to septoria.
KWS Dawsum scores an eight for resistance to yellow rust and is followed by Graham and Spearhead with scores of seven. JB Diego and Torp rate at four for resistance to yellow rust.
Some data is missing on fusarium resistance, while KWS Dawsum tops the pack on resistance to sprouting with a score of eight.
When it comes to bushel or hectolitre weight KWS Dawsum is top of the pack at 78.7kg/hl. On thousand grain weight Graham is out front at 51.7g.