Soft wheat newcomers set for Scottish success

Two newly recommended Group 4 soft wheats from RAGT are set to make a big impact in Scotland thanks to their impressive grain and alcohol yields.

This combination is an ideal fit for farmers north of the border, giving them the option to grow for feed or distilling markets.

Following a recent briefing for the seed trade in Edinburgh, Tom Dummett, RAGT’s cereal and OSR product manager, said: “RGT Stokes and RGT Bairstow are the highest yielding soft varieties in the North region, at 104% and 103% of controls respectively, compared with Skyscraper’s 102%.

“They also produce very high alcohol yields. In analysis carried out by the Scottish Whisky Research Institute, RGT Stokes produced the overall highest alcohol yield in 2021 of RL candidates and control varieties, with RGT Bairstow just behind. Both are described as very promising for distilling and rated good.

“Overall, the alcohol yield per hectare of these two varieties is better than anything else the industry has seen, which is very good news when end users are looking ever more closely at sustainability of production.

“Growers also know they will be getting the best yields if they choose to grow them for feed.”

Best septoria ratings

The two varieties have the best Septoria tritici resistance ratings within the soft Group 4 sector. On the one year (2021) Recommended List rating, which accounts for the intense pressure seen last season, RGT Bairstow is rated at 6.0 and RGT Stokes at 6.2, well ahead of Skyscraper’s 4.6.

“Their septoria resistances have held up very well, and they also have good yellow rust scores,” said Tom.

“If growers want to grow a soft wheat in Scotland, these are the two they need to be looking at."

Strong UK performance

Both varieties also perform exceptionally well in other regions, he added.

RGT Bairstow is the highest yielding soft feed variety on the RL, with a treated mean yield for the UK of 103.1%.

It is a very consistent performer, and has the highest second wheat yield of any recommended soft wheat variety at 104.3%.

Grain quality is good, with Hagberg at 228 and specific weight at 75.9kg/hl. “This is well above the minimum feed wheat specification and comfortably ahead of the 74kg/hl spec that has secured some good premiums for soft Group 4 wheats this season,” said Tom.

Tom Dummett, RAGT’s cereal and OSR product manager

RGT Stokes scores a strong 102.4% for UK yield. But the variety saves its best for the west, where it is rated at an impressive 105.2%, reflecting its strong septoria resistance.

“Early drilling potential and its very good second wheat will add to its appeal,” said Tom. “Overall, RGT Stokes is a very attractive package and an obvious replacement for some older favourites in the west.”

RGT Bairstow

· Highest yielding Group 4 soft on RL (first and second wheat UK)

· Second highest yielding Group 4 soft in the North

· High alcohol yield

· Rated good for distilling

· High Septoria tritici rating and OWBM resistance

· Good sprouting resistance and grain fertility

· Wide sowing window

RGT Stokes

· Highest yielding Group 4 soft in the North

· Highest yielding Group 4 soft in the West

· Highest alcohol yield of all soft wheats

· Rated good for distilling

· Best Septoria tritici resistance of all soft 4s

· Good sprouting resistance and grain fertility

· Suitable for early sowing

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