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BYDV-resistant wheat RGT Wolverine exceeds expectations in Norfolk

“An absolutely fantastic crop in a very tricky year.” That’s how Kit Papworth describes his crop of RGT Wolverine, the new high yielding Group 4 hard wheat from RAGT that is also Europe’s first BYDV resistant wheat.

Kit grew 40ha of the variety for seed at Lodge Farm, Felmingham in Norfolk, after oilseed rape. With no blackgrass on his light sandy loam, he was able to sow the crop on 16 September, ensuring it got up and away well.

“We used a seed rate of 80kg/ha to maximise our production area,” says Kit. “We Terradisced the rape stubble and drilled straight afterwards, to preserve soil moisture.”

Given the farm’s maritime climate, aphids can be a problem throughout the season. “It’s not unheard of to treat our wheats with insecticide three or four times to keep BYDV at bay,” he says.

“Given the earliness of drilling, we knew the RGT Wolverine would almost inevitably face an aphid challenge. We treated the other varieties, but left it alone, and it came through without showing any signs of BYDV.

“RGT Wolverine does exactly what is says on the tin. From what I’ve seen, I’d say it is a real breakthrough in terms of wheat management.”

The variety is also an excellent feed wheat, producing very high yields that can compete with the leaders on the Recommended List. That was certainly the case at Lodge Farm.

“It looked well throughout the season, and got its roots well into the ground in the autumn,” says Kit.

A four-spray fungicide programme was applied, using SDHI-based mixtures at T1 and T2, keeping the crop clean from top to bottom.

“We did have had a long dry spell through April and May. We irrigated some wheat fields that had been drilled only a few days later, but the RGT Wolverine was in an odd-shaped field so we left it. Despite this, it still outperformed the irrigated wheat.

“The variety has exceeded our expectations,” says Kit. “It was the best wheat by a mile this season, easily out-yielding our highest performer from last year.”

To learn more about RGT Wolverine, download the latest datasheet.

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