New study aims to help growers match wheat varieties to catch crops

Updated: Oct 28

RAGT is undertaking a major new project to examine the effect of different catch crops on a range of winter wheats to help growers make better-informed variety choice decisions when using this increasingly important aspect of agronomy.

Thirteen existing and pipeline winter wheats from RAGT’s portfolio will be direct-drilled into five catch crops and a fallow plot to assess the effect on wheat growth and development through the season and, ultimately, on yield and quality.

The trial will be on show at RAGT’s demonstration field next summer so growers can assess crop prospects for themselves.

Tom Dummett, RAGT’s cereal and OSR product manager, says: “It is our intention at RAGT to provide growers with as much information as possible about our varieties, above and beyond what appears in the official lists.

“There has been very little work done on the interaction between catch crops and cover crops and different wheat varieties. Given the increasing role that these crops will play on UK farms in the future, whether driven by ELMS, rising input costs or the need to reduce fossil fuel-based inputs in the push towards net zero, this seems an obvious area to investigate.”

The trial will look at first wheat performance only this season, but will be expanded to include second wheats in year two onwards.