New advice helps growers maximise potential of RGT Wolverine

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

RAGT Seeds has launched a guide to help growers get the best out of RGT Wolverine, Europe’s first BYDV-resistant winter wheat.

This very high yielding Group 4 wheat is available in limited quantities for sowing this autumn.

Farmers growing RGT Wolverine will gain season-long protection against BYDV, greatly simplifying their crop management by reducing the need to monitor and control aphid populations and benefiting the environment, says Tom Dummett, cereal and OSR product manager for RAGT Seeds.

One key piece of advice in the new guide is to use a single insecticide spray in the autumn on early sown crops to help protect the longevity of the Bdv2 trait which confers the resistance.

“This might seem an unusual recommendation given that we know RGT Wolverine is resistant to BYDV,” says Tom.

“However, resistance is not the same as immunity and, under very high-pressure scenarios, trace symptoms can be occasionally observed in lines that possess the Bdv2 trait.

“That said, the amount of virus is far lower than would occur with susceptible varieties. The advice to apply one insecticide is simply good stewardship to help protect the trait, which we believe will be invaluable to growers in the future.

“I would emphasise that after prolonged commercial use in Australia, the Bdv2 trait has shown no signs of breaking down to the virus. Two CSIRO varieties that contain it, Manning and Mackellar, the latter introduced 17 years ago, have maintained significantly higher yields when BYDV pressure is high, outperforming all other varieties in this situation.”

The reliability of RGT Wolverine and other Bdv2 lines was clearly demonstrated in high-pressure field trials at RAGT’s headquarters at Ickleton, Cambridgeshire, this season, confirming earlier findings from a range of laboratory and field experiments.