RGT Wolverine has delivered “very pleasing yields” for Norfolk grower Kit Papworth. The hard Group 4 wheat, which is Europe’s first BYDV resistant wheat variety, averaged 10t/ha across 150ha.
“We budget on 9.2t/ha, our five year average, so anything above that is a bonus,” says Kit, who grows 500ha of winter wheat at Lodge Farm, Felmingham.
“Last year the variety produced 9.74t/ha off 50ha, this harvest it’s ranging from 9 to 11.5t/ha.”
All the RGT Wolverine was sown into light sandy loams by 17 September after OSR and vining peas. Some was direct drilled, some Terradisced first. Seed rates varied from 80kg/ha on his 40ha seed crop and 120kg/ha on the commercial area.
“It seems to like what we do with it. It responds well to be in drilled early, and we apply a top-end fungicide programme, costing £120-130/ha.”
RGT Wolverine provides valuable insurance when drilling early. “That’s where it suits us so well. We farm in a maritime climate and aphids can be a problem, and we have been known to spray early drilled wheat two or more times.
“Now we can get a couple of hundred ha in the ground without worry and get on with other jobs, then come back later to drill the rest of our wheats.
“BYDV resistance is such a valuable piece of genetic code, proven over thousands of ha. It’s a real breakthrough in terms of wheat management.”
In Lincolnshire, Gavin Bowser has been making good progress in his wheats in what has been a late season, dodging showers with little drying required.
Good results from his 10ha block of RGT Wolverine means he will be growing four to five times as much of the variety next season.
“This harvest isn’t going to break any records, but the wheats are running close to our five-year average of 10t/ha, which is where we need to be,” says Gavin, who manages 1000ha of silty clay loam soils for Croftmarsh Limited near Skegness.
His early November-drilled RGT Wolverine after oilseed rape has performed as well as any – Gavin has not been drilling anything in September and very little in the first half of October due to blackgrass.
“RGT Wolverine may not be strongest for foliar disease but it has had the same fungicide as everything else and looks good,” says Gavin.
He maintained a good fertiliser spend and the crop finished well after the cold spring, which slowed development. “We’ve had a good bit more sun than many other areas.”
Gavin believes the genetics in RGT Wolverine are the key to BYDV control. “It’s the main reason we are trying the variety. Chemistry has become largely ineffective against aphids, so it’s definitely the way forward and will make managing the disease a lot easier.
“This will be even more important as we plan to return to earlier drilling on selected fields, now we are getting on top of blackgrass, to help beat the weather and get everything we plan to sown the autumn in the ground.”