Getting up close to RAGT’s winter wheats

One of the key topics at this summer’s RAGT open day is the winter wheat variety demonstration, which includes nearly all varieties on the 2022/23 Recommended List plus candidate varieties, all displayed in fungicide-treated and untreated plots.

In addition, there is a range of RAGT pipeline material that contains the latest novel and improved traits.

Visitors can expect a no-nonsense, honest appraisal of all the key varieties on show together with advice on getting the best from RAGT wheats.

RAGT managing director Lee Bennett says: “RAGT Seeds puts an enormous effort into its breeding programmes, and we want growers to reap the full benefits of this work.

“We aim to provide detailed growing guidelines based on our own data, including location, soil type, and rotational position, and subsequent agronomy to optimise key areas such as tiller management, grain site development and grain fill.

“Our team has been developing these varieties for several years before they come to market, so we want growers to speak directly to us, rather than just relying on Recommended List data or other information carried out to specific protocols, which doesn’t allow for individual management.

“Rest assured, we will be clear about what a variety will do, and what it won’t.”

Recommended List newcomers

RAGT’s three newest recommended wheats are likely to attract plenty of attention.

Group 4 newcomer RGT Bairstow is one of the UK’s most consistent varieties, whether as a first or second wheat or on light or heavy soils, regardless of season or region.

It is a high-tillering variety with good autumn vigour, and is quick to get away in the spring. RGT Bairstow has good disease resistance and its long grain filling period helps produce high yields.

Fellow Group 4 variety RGT Stokes is suitable for early drilling but can also be sown up to the end of January. The variety is recommended for the UK and excels in the north and west.

It has the highest S tritici rating of all soft Group 4s, and has decent resistance to rusts and mildew. RGT Stokes has the highest alcohol yield of the 2021 set and is rated positive for distilling (SWRI report 2021).

RGT Rashid is RAGT’s new Group 3 offering and is the highest yielding in this sector for the East and is well suited to southern regions and up the eastern side of England. It has performed well in RAGT early drilled (September) trials and can be sown to the end of January.

RGT Rashid has the best S tritici rating of all RL soft wheats and good resistance to rusts and fusarium. Relatively late to mature, it has good straw strength and can be pushed for yield.

Well-known varieties RGT Saki, RGT Skyfall, RGT Illustrious and RGT Lantern will also be on show, as will two RL Candidate varieties.

RGT Wilkinson is a Group 3 candidate with distilling potential that is suitable for early drilling.

RGT Zinzan is a potential Group 2 quality wheat with a low vernalisation requirement, akin to RGT Skyfall, which means it can be drilled into early March.

A range of National List material is also on show, including some very interesting new lines that combine BYDV resistance with orange wheat blossom midge resistance.

These bring the concept of insecticide-free wheats a step closer to market, which will be of particular interest to end-users in the human food chain.

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