Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
Plant breeder KWS will showcase its portfolio of combinable crops at Cereals 2024 – giving visitors an insight into the company’s so-called “cross crop”... ‘Cross crop’ options promise strong future for cereals

Plant breeder KWS will showcase its portfolio of combinable crops at Cereals 2024 – giving visitors an insight into the company’s so-called “cross crop” varieties.

“More than ever, we are focusing on high yielding varieties to complement our SPP genetics aimed at providing what growers need to cope with increasingly challenging growing conditions, says KWS conventional crops manager Kirsty Richards.

“While focusing on increased disease resistance, physical resilience and lower input requirements in our varieties over recent years, we have never lost sight of the importance of yield and profit-potential to growers.

“Yield is fundamental to  economic success, resilience, competitiveness and ability to meet the demands of a growing population, while ensuring environmental sustainability.

New emphasis

“With the rising costs involved in crop production, a new emphasis on the importance of food security and the ongoing pursuit of business sustainability, yield is very much king once more and our new varieties reflect this.”

Heading up the company’s Cereals 2024 presence will be KWS Dawsum, Extase and Palladium.

Together with other established KWS varieties, they account for around 40% of all wheat drilled in the UK this year.

“Our Group 4 hard wheat KWS Dawsum alone has a 20% market share. In Group 2, KWS Extase remains the variety with the highest untreated yield on the Recommended List while KWS Palladium is fast becoming a firm favourite with millers and bakers.”

KWS has 10 new wheat varieties currently on the AHDB candidate list for possible recommendation at the end of 2024, says Dr Richards.

“These cover all the groups, with many set to become the benchmark varieties of the future. Visitors will be able to see and discuss the benefits with KWS specialists.”

Market share

On the winter barley front, the high yielding two-row variety KWS Tardis with its 40% market share remains the UK’s top selling variety.

“But again, we have some exciting new winter barleys on the current AHDB candidate list to follow KWS Tardis and a new spring barley to show visitors too,” says Dr Richards.

KWS hybrid crops product manager Kate Cobbold says growing interest in hybrid rye will be reflected on the stand with plots of leading rye varieties headed up by KWS Tayo.

“KWS hybrid ryes now take up the first three spots on the AHDB descriptive list for 2024/25 and we’ve some exciting new generation hybrid oilseed rapes coming through as well.

But Ms Cobbold says the big news on the hybrid front with regard to KWS is the introduction of its first hybrid winter barleys.

“Sitting alongside our conventional winter barley portfolio, hybrid barley strengthens our offer to growers, adding many potential benefits including higher yields and greater resilience.

“Our first variety to launch is Inys, which has shown to be a step up in yield compared to the current market leading hybrid barley with an outright yield of 109% of controls plus a superb untreated yield of 93% due to its excellent disease profile.

“Agronomically, Inys also stacks up with very low lodging, and 10% lower brackling compared to the current market leading variety.”

Cross crop focus

Visitors looking to take advantage of the most productive rotations in the future will also have the opportunity to talk to a range of KWS’ specialists as part of the company’s “cross crop” initiative, adds Dr Richards.

“If you want information on crops such as maize, sugar beet, oats, peas and cover crops in addition to cereals, the KWS stand is the place to be.

“Demand for oats continues to grow year on year and we’ll have our spring oat Isabel growing on the stand, plus there’ll be news of two new oat additions currently on the AHDB candidate list.

Other crops

“Peas are an ideal crop to have in the farm rotation, offering growers an excellent break crop so we’ll also have varieties and information for growers to understand their role better. Cover crops will also be on show.

“Maize is becoming an increasingly attractive break crop option for arable growers so we’ll be joined by colleagues from KWS Maize highlighting the best varieties and the different options available to growers.

“Sugar beet can also play a role in adding vital resilience to rotations, so we’ll have KWS specialists on hand to look at current KWS varieties and also our new CR+ genetics for improved Cercospora control and potential fungicide savings.”