Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Bright future for Limagrain wheat breeding programme

April 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Crops

Seed breeder Limagrain UK has seven out of the total 11 varieties up for recommendation to join the 2019-20 AHDB Recommended List – spread across almost every quality sector.

High yielding wheat varieties – with a range of attributes to reflect the differing agronomic and marketing requirements of farmers across the UK – have always been a focus of the company’s wheat breeding programme, says arable marketing director Les Daubney.

“We are particularly excited about our soft feed variety LG Skyscraper, which is the highest yielding wheat candidate at 109% and will potentially be the overall highest yielding wheat variety, should it gain full recommendation to the 2019-20 List,” he says.

LG Skyscraper shows a significant 4% yield increase over the control feed variety in treated trials – showing that it can compete with many of the high yielding feed varieties added to the AHDB RL in the last couple of seasons.

“What is also exciting and really valuable on-farm, is that this yield potential has been consistent across both seasons and regions,” says Mr Daubney.

“With excellent grain and end-use quality attributes on offer, LG Skyscraper is bucking the trend that soft wheats don’t yield or have the desirable quality characteristics of the hard Group 4s as here is a soft wheat that does both – and very well.”

The variety has a Hagberg Falling Number (HFN) of 216 and specific weight of 77.7, in comparison to the hard feed wheat KWS Santiago, with a HFN of 188 and specific weight of 76.3, and the biscuit wheat Zulu, with a HFN of 229 and specific weight of 76.4.

LG Skyscraper has a pedigree of (Cassius x NAWW29) x KWS Santiago. This balance of genetics brings excellent disease resistance to the variety; LG Skyscraper has good resistance ratings for mildew (7), yellow rust (8), brown rust (6) and for Septoria tritici (6).

This combination of disease resistance offers a variety with improved ratings over many of the feed varieties commercially in the market at present – which is also reflected in its excellent untreated yield performance.

Limagrain data suggests that the variety is not as tall as the official figures indicate and the company says the 2017 lodging data should be viewed with caution as it was an erratic season with regards to plant growth, and a difficult season for targeted agronomic programmes.

“Our data shows the variety to be high tillering with a semi-prostate winter growth habit, and quicker plant development in the spring – similar to Evolution,” says Limagrain arable technical manager Ron Granger.

“It is early maturing – the same as JB Diego and Skyfall. What this translates into in the field is that LG Skyscraper is suitable for drilling from the third week of September onwards and also offers a later drilling opportunity in regards to the blackgrass control scenario.”

Limagrain also suggests LG Skyscraper performs well as a second wheat. It also has Orange Wheat Blossom Midge (OWBM) resistance – a trait of increasing value in wheat varieties due to restrictions on insecticide products.

LG Jigsaw is a high yielding hard feed wheat suitable for earlier drilling. It is the highest yielding hard feed wheat candidate and similar to its parent KWS Santiago, regarding both treated and untreated yield potential, says Mr Daubney.

“From a pedigree of KWS Santiago x Revelation, it’s easy to see where these strong attributes come from. KWS Santiago has shown itself to be a consistent, high yielding, safe on-farm variety, and Revelation has proven excellent disease resistance ratings and fits the early drilling slot well.”

LG Jigsaw also has similar straw characteristics to KWS Santiago and responds well to PGR treatments. It’s disease resistance profile is excellent, with a solid rating of (6) for Septoria tritici, (8) for yellow rust, (7) for brown rust and a very good rating of (7) for eyespot.

The variety offers genetic resistance to OWBM and has Pch1 Rendezvous eyespot resistance – both important trait valued by growers. Limagrain data suggests LG Jigsaw is a high tillering variety, with a prostrate winter/spring growth habit and later spring ear development.

In Limagrain trials last spring, it held onto its high tiller numbers when many other varieties lost tillers due to the very dry spring. All these factors come together to make the variety suitable for the earlier drilling slot.


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