New top-class wheats bred to earn their keep

Updated: May 27, 2021

Four candidate wheat varieties from RAGT that combine strong septoria resistance scores with very high yields are vying for a place on the 2022/23 Recommended List, building on the company’s recent successes.

In recent years, we at RAGT Seeds have adopted a range of innovative plant-breeding technologies to push forward our science-led approach to variety development.

We have become a global leader in marker technology, enabling our talented team of plant breeders to access large areas of the wheat genome at low cost, helping them relate gene sequences to desirable physical features.

This has resulted in novel and enhanced traits to produce stand-out varieties such as Skyfall, the Group 1 variety that combines feed-wheat yields with breadmaking quality, and RGT Saki, a heavyweight Group 4 wheat with an exceptional disease profile that topped official yield trials last year.

Then there’s breakthrough variety RGT Wolverine, the first European wheat with resistance to barley yellow dwarf virus that gained Group 4 recommendation at the end of 2020.

Promising pipeline

Our plant breeding team never rests on its laurels, and they are developing some very promising new varieties that are set to build on their earlier efforts.

Nearest to market are the 2020 Candidate List varieties, all of which are vying for promotion to the 2022/23 Recommended List. For the first time in several years, the list includes a breadmaking Group 2 quality wheat and a Group 3 contender, as well as two strong Group 4s.

Some of these will be offered for our Growers Club members to try this autumn, a year ahead of their potential commercial launch.

RGT Bairstow

This impressive Group 4 feed wheat features an outstanding combination of very strong Septoria tritici resistance coupled with barnfilling yields. The variety is also rated positive for distilling.

RGT Bairstow notches up 104% for treated yield on a UK basis, towards the top end of the Group 4 RL, and a point higher for the east.

Parentage is Revelation / Santiago // Cougar, which has been influential in delivering an excellent all-round disease resistance package, including a rating of 7 for Septoria and an 8 for yellow rust.

Grain quality is good, supported by decent sprouting resistance and OWBM resistance. RGT Bairstow is a consistent performer that will benefit growers wherever it is grown in the UK.

Learn more about RGT Bairstow here.

RGT Stokes

RGT Stokes shares the same genetics as RGT Bairstow. This Group 4 feed features even better Septoria tritici resistance than its sibling, with a rating of 7.5, within a whisker of the best on the list.

It looks to be a very strong choice for the west, thanks to outstanding 107% for treated yield in that region. Further north, distilling potential could add to the appeal.

The variety is also a slow developer so can be drilled early, which might suit a lot of growers who don’t consider blackgrass to be a problem.

Learn more about RGT Stokes here.

RGT Rashid

This Group 3 contender produces very high yields, particularly in the east where it is rated at 103%. As well as being ideally suited to biscuit production, the grain also has distilling potential.

RGT Rashid is an Icebreaker / Solo // Cougar cross. It features strong disease resistance, including a Septoria tritici score of 7.2, by far the highest among the biscuit wheat candidates, and an 8 for yellow rust and 6 for brown rust.

The variety also has strong, stiff straw and is resistant to OWBM.

Learn more about RGT Rashid here.

RGT Flintoff

This promising breadmaking candidate is an awned variety producing high-quality milling grain, reflecting its Skyfall and RGT Illustrious parentage.

RGT Flintoff looks like Skyfall in the field, and has inherited several of its best characteristics. It is resistant to OWBM, carries the Pch1 resistance gene to eyespot and produces very competitive yields.

RGT Flintoff has good Septoria tritici resistance, scoring 6.3, and is rated 8 for brown rust and 6 for yellow rust. Short stiff straw and Skyfall-like maturity add to the attraction.

RGT Flintoff appears to have inherited Skyfall’s low vernalisation requirement. It is likely to have a very wide sowing window and, like Skyfall, could be drilled up to the end of the first week of March.

Learn more about RGT Flintoff here.

To learn more about all of these promising wheats click here.

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