RGT Gravity’s outstanding consistency, backed up by an impressive performance when drilled late, is underpinning brisk demand for seed from farmers looking for top yields when following roots or who have delayed sowing to help control blackgrass.
“RGT Gravity scored 103 for UK treated yield in RL trials this year, exactly the same as the five-year average,” says Tom Dummett, RAGT’s cereal and OSR product manager.
“It also achieved the same figure on its five-year dataset for normal and later drilling, as a first or second wheat, and on heavy soils. On light soils it still scored 102, rounding off a very impressive set of figures that underline the variety’s exceptional reliability.”
RGT Gravity’s speed of development to growth stage 31 is also good when sown later, at two days under average, giving growers additional confidence to use it from early November onwards, says Tom.
RGT Gravity’s dependability makes it a key variety for Ken Goodger, who farms near Welney in Norfolk.
The variety averaged 10t/ha despite being drilled in late November after potatoes and secured a small premium thanks to its high quality grain
“RGT Gravity fits well into our system,” says Ken. “A quick look at the RL trials results shows it yields as well when sown late into the autumn as it does a few weeks earlier, and that seems to be the case here.
“We’re not early drillers – we are juggling with herbs and potatoes in the autumn, so we can’t always get the ground prepared as soon as we’d like to,” says Ken. “That means we don’t usually start sowing wheat until the end of October or beginning of November.”
Last season Ken grew about 24ha of Gravity as first wheat, sown in the third and fourth week of November after potatoes on the farm’s silt and skirt fen soils. It was drilled with a Vaderstad Rapid 3m drill after a pass with the TopDown tine/discs then Carrier discs.
The crop averaged 10t/ha of good quality grain. “That’s the best and most consistent result across the farm for any one variety we ever grown,” says Ken. “It was a good 1.25t/ha higher than our milling wheat and better than our other Group 4 wheat. It was noticeable how we had to slow down when we combined it.”
Thanks to a specific weight of 75kg/hl and 11.8% protein, Ken has achieved a useful £2-3/t premium from human consumption homes on the tonnage sold so far and he hopes for a similar premium on the rest.
RGT Gravity is easy to manage he adds. “It’s robust and didn’t need too much TLC. That suits us as we are kept busy with the other enterprises on the farm. It remained clean throughout and stayed green until the end. We probably went a bit cheap and cheerful with our T1 fungicide because it was so dry. We stepped things up at T2, basing our programme on a robust rate of SDHI.
“We adopted a little and often approach with PGR, as with all our wheats, and this really paid off. We cut the milling wheat first and then the weather turned. The Gravity stayed out in the rain and wind for two weeks.
“Like most growers we lost a bit of seed because of that, but no more than a drilling’s worth. It was a problem that hit all varieties to varying degrees in this area.”
Thanks to its strong performance across the board last season, and the fact he has dropped milling wheat due to inconsistent premiums, Ken is putting half his 110ha of wheat down to RGT Gravity this season.
“It’s the obvious choice for me and there’s every reason to think we can look forward to a repeat of this season’s success.”