Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
New feed wheat Bamford continues to generate high levels of interest just weeks before the launch of the latest cereals Recommended List (RL). Bred... High hopes for candidate soft wheat on recommended list

New feed wheat Bamford continues to generate high levels of interest just weeks before the launch of the latest cereals Recommended List (RL).

Bred by Elsoms Seeds, Bamford is the highest yielding RL Group Three soft wheat candidate variety this year, says Rodger Shirreff, national seeds business manager for Agrii, which has conducted extensive trials.

“We test varieties to identify those that offer the best return on spend for growers – not the varieties which simply offer the best gross output. Across all Agrii trials, Bamford has been the highest yielding wheat, regardless of group classification.

With Moulton in its parentage, Bamford offers solid disease resistance, says Mr Shirreff. This includes yellow rust (8) and or septoria tritici (7) – both scores which help growers plan spray programmes while protecting the crop in the periods leading up to applications.

“With an average specific weight of 78kg/hl Bamford more than makes the grade on its bushel weight and that contributes to the consistently high yields it achieves.

“On end use, growers have plenty of options in which to achieve premiums with the variety meeting the specifications for distilling, Group 3 biscuits and as a UK soft wheat for export,” he concludes. This type of flexibility suggests that Bamford will be easy to market.”

Boston-based first-time Bamford grower Danny Anderson, of P & N Anderson, says a challenging season for septoria was a good test for Bamford’s disease resistance credentials and the variety proved equal to the test.

Even emergence

“We drilled on 31 October last year into silty loam soil at a seed density of 180kg/ha. Bamford followed a crop of sugar beet, so we ploughed and established it using a Sulky Combi-drill. We were rewarded with even crop emergence and a relatively low weed burden to challenge the new seedlings.”

Bamford wintered well, despite some hard frosts, and it looked very forward so Mr Anderson went with just one split of liquid nitrogen applied at 840l/ha on 22 February.

“On advice from our agronomist Dan Hutson, we went with a four-spray fungicide program applied between 19 April and 5 July. Despite a bad septoria outbreak which hurt some of our other feed wheats, both Bamford fields remained remarkably clean.

“We saw no signs of septoria in the crop. There was also a lengthy dry spell between April and June where we saw virtually no rain in three months, but again the crop stayed green showing no signs of stress.”

The crop was combined on 10 August. It yielded over 10t/ha with a bushel weight of 75.1kg/hl. “I’d have to say it was one of the easiest crops I’ve ever managed. It was robust, it stood well with no laid-over grain and appeared to have no real weaknesses.”

Clean crop

Agrii agronomist Dan Hutson has worked with P&N Anderson for 4 years. He also recalls the crop being one of the cleanest he walked during a challenging Septoria year.

He added: “The crop showed good early vigour, but there was also an impressive second kick in early spring following its only application of nitrogen. The variety looks extremely robust. Its yield potential initially draws the eye, but its diverse genetic background could be a key to its future success.”

For insurance, P&N Anderson applied two plant growth regulators, opting for 1l/ha of Chlormequat at T0 with a litre of Chlormequat again plus 150ml of Trinexapac-ethyl applied at T1, given that the crop went into a very fertile soil.

“In my experience, growers now prefer to spread their risk across two or three different varieties, but that can often be compromised if all the popular high-yielding types have similar parentage.

“We saw what happened in 2021, when wheat varieties with Cougar parentage were identified as having potentially weaker resistance to septoria tritici, so a very high yielding variety like Bamford with a different genetic background could be a major positive for winter wheat.”

Positive feedback

Toby Reich (pictured left), head of agricultural sales at Elsoms, says he is delighted with the feedback. Mr Reich describes Bamford as a significant milestone in the company’s 11-year wheat breeding programme.

“From seed merchants, advisers, influencers and the early adopter growers who’ve trialled the variety and multiplied seed for us, the feedback has been universally positive so far.

“I believe Bamford will establish itself as the winter wheat most likely to deliver the best return on investment in terms of its consistency to perform on-farm in all type of soils and rotations.

“It’s market flexibility, highlighted by Rodger, gives growers so many options for end markets, with a nice fall-back option for those who simply want to grow it as a barn-filler,” says Mr Reich.

“Widening the choice for growers by introducing a very high-yielding variety with a diverse genetic background can only be a positive for the whole supply chain.”