RGT Lantern – a beacon of light for second wheat growers
Updated: Jul 24
Second wheats or their equivalent are set to make a comeback this autumn as the oilseed rape area continues to decline and growers look to maximise margins after one of the most difficult seasons anyone can recall.
Whether following winter wheat or a spring cereal, the same principles apply – variety selection will be key to optimising performance and profit.
This season, RAGT Growers Club member and Norfolk grower Ken Goodger has been trying a new variety that is building a reputation as a strong second wheat, RGT Lantern.
His crop looks set to deliver a very satisfactory yield, despite having been drilled in less-than-ideal conditions in mid November.
Ken, who grows combinable crops, roots and herbs for oils across 320ha at Pates Farm, Welney, says: “We drilled the RGT Lantern at 200kg/ha. The crop looked thin and patchy, but tillered very well in the spring. It now looks very even.”
Plenty of manganese and some mid-February nitrogen helped. The crop has also remained clean even though a relatively conservative fungicide programme was used.
“We don’t suffer badly with Septoria, but yellow rust can be a problem in this area. But there’s no disease to be seen.”
Ken believes the 10ha crop will deliver a “good average” yield. “For a second wheat this season it looks really good – it is not the thickest, but the heads are really big.
“If RGT Lantern lives up to its potential, I’ll certainly grow it again next season.”
Tom Dummett, RAGT Seeds cereal and OSR product manager, believes RGT Lantern should be high on any grower’s list. It brings barn-filling output, good all-round disease scores, midge resistance and stiff straw to the hard Group 4 sector.
“As well as fulfilling all the requirements of a great first wheat, it is also one of the best second wheats there is,” he adds.
“After the three years of official trials, RGT Lantern was the highest yielding hard second wheat, averaging 104%. No hard feed wheat on the Recommended List beats it.”
Tom says RGT Lantern takes after Relay, one of its parents that gained a strong reputation as a reliable second wheat.
“Relay was stable and robust, with a very vigorous growth habit that was good for blackgrass suppression. RGT Lantern shares all those attributes, although it looks different. It has thinner leaves, but hugs the ground and tillers like mad.”
Importantly for a second wheat, the variety has excellent eyespot resistance (6), and good disease resistance to key foliar diseases. The variety also has short, stiff straw similar to Skyfall and is resistant to orange wheat blossom midge.
“RGT Lantern has proved to be a consistent performer in different seasons,” says Tom. “For an easy-to-manage second wheat it’s right up there.
“We are already seeing a reduced OSR area in the rotation and we may well see less in the years ahead. The question is, what to replace it with?"
“There is no single break crop or combination of break crop that is likely to replace the missing oilseed rape. Good second wheats are likely to be in demand not just next season but for the foreseeable future.”
· Very high yielding hard feed wheat
· Excellent second wheat yields
· Good disease resistance scores
· Short stiff straw
· OWBM resistance
· Consistent performer