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Major changes to wheat rust disease-resistance ratings are included in the latest Recommended List for cereals and oilseeds. Revised disease ratings for recommended list varieties

Major changes to wheat rust disease-resistance ratings are included in the latest Recommended List for cereals and oilseeds.

Published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, the 2021/22 Recommended List also sees the introduction of new disease ratings for winter rye (brown rust) and winter triticale (yellow rust).

AHDB list manager Paul Gosling said the latest list offered a rich mixture of broad-appeal and niche varieties – serving as a foundation for integrated pest management (IPM) and brings opportunities for a wide range of markets.

More sensitive

“Wheat brown rust and yellow rust ratings are now weighted, so the most recent years’ results have the largest influence on the rating. This makes the rating more sensitive to changes in rust populations, while still building on a valuable three-year data set.”

For wheat yellow rust and spring oat mildew, the AHDB has also changed the way it calculates disease ratings, relative to our susceptible and resistant variety fixed points, said Mr Gosling.

“This reset means, compared with the previous edition, the same amount of disease will result in a lower rating score,” he explained.

“For rust, some varieties have dropped by as much as three rating points. We stress this is largely due to the way we calculate the ratings, rather than an indication of a major shift in rust races in 2020.”

New additions

The latest recommended list sees the addition of 21 varieties, with 25 varieties removed. Five new Group 3 biscuit winter wheats had been added, some with potential for distilling and export. Two new hard Group 4s provide extra options for growers.

The Group 4 varieties include a specific recommendation for resistance to Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) to the RL for the first time. A new soft Group 4 variety with excellent distilling quality also features for the north region.

Five new feed varieties feature on the list for winter barley. Three new two-row varieties offer improved yield, as well as good agronomics and quality. Two new six-row varieties offer better disease resistance and untreated yields.

Yield increases

The two new spring barley varieties bring welcome advances. One is under test for brewing and potentially offers large yield increases over the current market leaders. The other, a feed barley, delivers strong yield and good overall agronomics.

For the first time, the winter oilseed rape list includes pod-shatter resistance data. The five new varieties, all hybrids, bring modest improvements in yield and disease resistance, compared with established varieties.

Although most oilseed rape recommendations are for the East/West region, a newly listed variety offers particularly strong yields for the North region.