RGT Gravity impresses again

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

RGT Gravity has had a storming year for all four of our Growers Club members who grew the variety, producing outstanding yields across regions, soil types and rotational positions.


RGT Gravity reinforced its reputation as a reliable barnfiller in Cambridgeshire (pic credit - Sam Morris).


North Yorkshire

RGT Gravity’s impressive record in trials persuaded Andrew Cawood to sow the variety last autumn and he certainly reaped the rewards, harvesting 83t of grain off 7.15ha.

“It was head and shoulders above everything else,” says Andrew, who farms 240ha of arable crops at Burley House Farm, South Milford, North Yorkshire.

“My agronomist recommended it on the back of historical performance and the fact it looked good in trial plots in our area, and I'm delighted he did. It yielded 11.6t/ha, the best yield on the farm this year, out yielding our other two hard winter wheats by 0.5t/ha"

The crop followed spring naked oats and was sown into a decent seedbed in late September. “It looked good all year with a high plant count,” says Andrew.

“We gave the crop solid fungicide and PGR programmes, and applied 205kg of nitrogen split four ways, starting at the end of February and running through to mid May.

“The crop looked as clean as any other variety and, although there was a lot of late rain, including a lengthy spell which delayed harvesting the RGT Gravity until the 26th August, all our wheat crops stood well thanks to our belt and braces PGR strategy.

“Once I knew the yield and saw the bright, bold sample, I made up my mind there and then that we would grow RGT Gravity again next year. Given its performance, we couldn’t really afford not to.”


Rotational position – first wheat

Soil – silty clay loam

Cultivation – TopDowned, Flatlifted and combi-drilled

Drilling date – 26 September

Yield - 11.6t/ha


Cambridgeshire

RGT Gravity has certainly reinforced its reputation as a reliable barnfiller at E J Morris & Son’s Top Farm, Croydon, yielding 10.5t/ha as a third wheat on heavy clay.

“It did amazingly well, given the season and its position in the rotation,” says Sam Morris. “I don’t really want to grow third wheats, but margins dictate it and it’s good to have a reliable variety that performs so well in that slot.

“OSR is no longer viable here due to flea beetle and we use spring barley, which continues to pay well, and spring beans as our breaks.

“We drilled the RGT Gravity a little earlier than I’d have liked, on 3 October. We prefer to start in the middle of the month, but we can’t hold back on everything. We did treat the seed with Latitude to help control take-all.

“The crop got away well, putting on vigorous growth throughout the autumn. We suffer from blackgrass and I like to think the variety’s competitive growth habit complemented our comprehensive autumn herbicide programme.”

The crop was mostly combined after a near two-week rain delay. “That was a pretty good test,” says Sam. “We left it until the end, but there was no sign of germination and very little shedding, unlike some of the other varieties, and Hagbergs held up.

"RGT Gravity passed a pretty tough test with flying colours."

Rotational position – third wheat

Soil – heavy clay

Drilling date – 3 October

Yield - 10.5t/ha


Lincolnshire

Second-time RGT Gravity grower Ian Willox has more grain than expected after a very pleasing harvest, helped by an exceptional performance by the variety on some “pretty ordinary” land.

The crop was cut in the second week of August at Birchwood Farm, Saxilby and averaged just shy of 10t/ha across 32ha. “I was very happy with that figure which was right at the top of my expectations on this medium-bodied land,” says Ian.

The crop followed oilseed rape and was drilled in early October. “It never looked back. We put an average of around 212kg/ha of nitrogen on the crop, in three splits, applied using a variable rate system.”

This, plus a robust two-SDHI disease control programme, pretty much standard for the farm where disease prevention is the watchword, and a good PGR programme ensured the RGT Gravity lived up to its potential when the combine moved in.

“The wheat looked very promising and was a dream to combine,” says Ian. “It thrashed beautifully and we got a lovely clean sample with no sign of tips.”

Four loads were sold soon after harvest to make room for more wheat. “Being tight for storage space is a nice problem to have.

“I placed my seed order was placed early as there was a lot of demand for RGT Gravity. I’ll be growing roughly the same amount again this coming season on very similar ground, and looking forward to a similar result next year.”

Rotational position – first wheat

Soil – medium loam

Cultivation – min-till

Drilling date – early October

Yield – circa 10t/ha

Northamptonshire

Easy to grow, easy to combine, and produces barn-busting yields. That’s Andrew Pitts’ summary of his first season with RGT Gravity, when he grew 100ha for seed on heavy soil at The Grange, Mears Ashby.

He had been looking forward to harvest for weeks beforehand, with crops looking better than ever before.

The RGT Gravity was direct-drilled on 28 September at 300 seeds/sq m. It received about 201kg/ha of nitrogen in three splits and a straightforward fungicide programme based on SDHIs at T1 and T2 and two PGRs.

Not one to reveal specific yields, Andrew says:

“RGT Gravity certainly lived up to its billing as the highest yielding hard Group 4 on the Recommended List and to my expectations. It ensured we achieved our highest ever average wheat yield for the farm.”

One block was cut before the rain, the other two weeks later. There was no difference in yield, grain quality or ease of harvest despite the later block being lashed at times by thunderstorms and high winds.

“It held onto its Hagberg and specific weight very well indeed,” says Andrew. “It also stood very well – none of it was flat.”

RGT Gravity’s performance means there’s one decision Andrew no longer has to make. “It’s an absolute no-brainer – I will definitely be sowing it again this autumn.”

Rotational position – first wheat

Soil – chalky boulder clay

Cultivation – Direct drilled

Drilling date – 28 September

Yield – excellent


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