Farm trials show HW benefits

Farmers across the county have been visiting Hybrid Wheat farm trial open days to learn more about the economic case for growing Hybrid Wheat on land that normally limits high yields.

Stanway Hall near Colchester is farmed by Robert Davidson & Son Ltd and has been managed by James Faulkner for the past 10 years. The farm extends to over 850 ha with a further 600 ha farmed under contract farming agreements. Rotations include milling wheat, OSR, peas, potatoes, maize, sugar beet and grass.

Soil types include heavy to medium clay as well as some very light land. Annual average rainfall is just 540 mm and the light land selected for the trial usually yields little more than 5 – 7 t/ha.

Last year James decided to try Hybrid Wheat to see whether the hybrid vigour and larger root system provided significant benefits on the lightest land. In the event, better than usual rainfall meant conditions were not typical but he was pleased with the result.

This year he has drilled trial plots of Hystar, Hyteck and Hybery plus varieties new the UK, Hylux and Hyguardo. The latter offers medium maturity and very high yield potential. It is also the first HW to display resistance to OWBM. A plot of Santiago in the same field provides a control.

By 11 June the conventional wheat was clearly under stress and James took the following photographs – the Hybrid Wheat is on the right:

Santiago

HW Stanway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time of the open day the differences were even more marked and James anticipates a substantial yield premium from the Hybrid plots.

Exeter to the Yorkshire Wolds

R & P Farming Ltd is a family farming business of approximately 3000 acres around Exeter, including 2000 acres of arable. The rotation is based on winter wheat, OSR and oats but with much sand or sandy loam land yield potential is low and Hybrid Wheat is being trialled to see whether it can lift farm averages.

In West Suffolk Geo Gittus & Sons has a mix of cropping and enterprises. Group 4 feed wheat is grown with drilling up to early November after sugar beet, leaving land for spring cropping of barley or maize.

Hybrid Wheat is being tried for the first time to see whether there is an advantage in the  later drilling slot and perhaps drilling into December if conditions allow. Hybrid Wheat was drilled on 10 December following sugar beat, using a plough and combi-drill on medium to light land. JB Diego was drilled to provide a control.

The Stody Estate in Norfolk is largely a light land farm with very diverse cropping and extensive irrigation. Hybrid Wheat has been grown successfully on the farm in recent years and the trial field had sugar beet in 2014 and winter wheat in 2013.

Pridmore and Son is a family farming business of approximately 1500 acres near Oakham. The limestone brash is prone to dry out early, suppressing yield and five varieties of Hybrid Wheat including Hyteck (above) are being grown alongside Evolution in a field previously used to grow OSR.

Garton Field near Driffield is farmed by Simon Ullyott and comprises soft chalk brash at an altitude of 110m; very free draining and prone to drought. Simon finds the early harvest achieved with Hybrid Wheat is ideal for his rotation, enabling early establishment of OSR which is essential on this farm. The trial area of Hybrid Wheat is following spring beans.

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Builder’s sand best for badgers… and Hybrid Wheat

Well worked badger sets expose sharp building sand on Builderland farmed by Stephen and Adam Norris near Clare on the Suffolk/Essex border; less than ideal for growing quality winter wheat.

It may, on the other hand, be a suitable proving ground for Hybrid Wheat, which has demonstrated an ability to perform well under challenging conditions. Having tried Hybrid Wheat Hystar as a second wheat on good land last year, Stephen and Adam are growing an increased area on two light land fields this season.

“We grew some 8 ha of Hystar on one of our better fields last year and it did very well, yielding 11.8 t/ha, with only one conventional variety, grown as a first wheat, performing better overall. This year we have 16 ha of Hystar as a second wheat on two sandy fields,” Stephen explained.

The Hystar was drilled on 2 October at a rate of 180 seeds/m2. It has received similar treatment to the other wheat crops but as it is early maturing the spray regime has been two to three weeks earlier, with flag leaf sprays applied on 11 May. This is very useful in spreading the workload, observed Adam Norris, while the early harvest is helpful where oilseed rape is the next crop.

Last season Hystar also produced a high quality crop, with good specific weights and protein of 11.5%. Stephen believes that maintaining a comparatively low seed density may be important in this respect and they look forward to seeing the results of this year’s harvest.

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Hybrid Wheat makes UK ‘top five’ on ‘blow away sand’

Last season British record holder Tim Lamyman achieved yields of almost 13t/Ha growing Hystar hybrid wheat on Tumby sands near Horncastle in Lincolnshire; an area better known for its sand quarries than its wheat growing potential.

Representing an increase of 1.2t/Ha over his previous highest yield on this farm, the crop took fifth place in the ADAS Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) competition.

“I have tried lots of conventional varieties at Tumby but because Hybrid Wheat has a bigger root system to begin with and it’s better able to scavenge for nutrients and moisture it seemed best suited to our very light land”, he explained.

Multiple nutrients in the form of foliar feeds from Bionatures’s ‘smart nutrition’ product range, designed to encourage the production of cytokinin plant hormones, are applied on all crops throughout the season.

This year Tim is growing Hybery hybrid wheat on Tumby sands and hopes to benefit from this varieties milling potential.

“We grew some Hybery on stronger land at Worlaby last season and the quality was excellent. It’s a cleaner variety and so far this year it is looking very encouraging,” he observed.

Tim Lamymanis the world record holder for oilseed rape and holds a number of yield awards, including the UK record wheat yield. At Worlaby, near Louth, he took top place in the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) competition for the best wheat field and the best percentage of yield potential categories last year.

To hear why other farmers grow Hybrid Wheat, see our ‘Growing Hybrid Wheat’ video.

For more information about what Hybrid Wheat could offer you, or to order a brochure, contact us on 01787 238200 or email our team athybridwheat@cropco.co.uk.

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Hybrid Wheat winner

Robert Kendall, who farms at Shiptonthorpe in Yorkshire, is the winner of the Hybrid Wheat competition held at this year’s LAMMA event. Mr Kendall will receive sufficient seed to grow 5 ha of Hybrid Wheat for next harvest.

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Autumn Grower Guidelines

Latest guidelines for growing the Hybrid Wheat varieties Hystar, Hyteck and Hybery are now available in the ‘download‘ area.

Information on site selection and positioning within the rotation, optimum drilling window, seed bed conditions, pest, weed and disease control are provided for each variety, based on the excellent results achieved by many growers over the past season.

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Hybrid Wheat proves a consistent performer

Consistency, irrespective of the vagaries of the weather or challenging soil types, is one of the main benefits of growing hybrid wheat.

Across the Anglian region three-year averages – including this year’s harvest – are now available for Hystar and this advantage is becoming increasingly clear.

For example, on one North Essex farm Hystar has been grown on chalky boulder clay that has seen 32 years of continuous wheat production. Here it has averaged 9.96 t/ha over the past three years. This year it yielded 10.63 t/ha.

Further east, at Tillingham on the Dengie Peninsular, Hystar has been grown primarily as a second wheat on mixed soil types, much of which had previously been thought suitable only for barley. Here it has produced an average of 10.43 t/ha, with yields of 11 t/ha this year.

Where accurate comparisons are possible under farm conditions the hybrids have once again shown good performance this year, especially on marginal land, as shown in the table below.

Location Variety Soil type and rotation Yield

tonnes/ha

Clare, Suffolk Hystar Second wheat 12.0
Horsfold, Norwich Hystar Gravelly with sharp sand, not previously considered suitable for wheat 9.5
Watton, Norfolk Hystar “Blow away sand” 7.75
Belepi   4.70
Colchester, Essex Hystar “Pure sand” 7.77
  Conqueror   6.47
Tillingham, Essex Hystar Second wheat, reclaimed gravel pits 11.0
North Essex Hystar Continuous wheat 10.63
Beccles Hystar Very light land 11.6
Tumby, Lincs Hystar Pure sand 11.74
Sawtry, Huntingdonshire Hyteck Very heavy land, 2nd wheat 11.60
Gallant Ist wheat 9.88

Early Hybrid Wheat results for Hystar and Hyteck from the Anglian region with conventional wheat comparisons where available.

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Tomorrow’s Hybrid Wheat on show

Read our summer 2014 newsletter below and find out more about the latest developments in Hybrid Wheat.

  Hybrid Wheat Newsletter Summer 2014 (872.9 KiB)

 

 

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Cereals 2014 winner

David Markham, who farms near Dorking, is the winner of the Hybrid Wheat competition at this year’s Cereals event.

Mr Markham will receive sufficient seed to grow 5 ha of Hybrid Wheat for next harvest.

 

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Hybrid Wheat open days

The national Hybrid Wheat open day is at Cowlinge, near Newmarket, on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.

The open day starts at 10.30am with lunch available from 12pm to 1.30pm. The last tour will begin at 3pm.

This year there is much more to see and the tours are divided into three areas:

A demonstration of commercial hybrid wheat, parent lines and up and coming hybrid wheat varieties. This will also include seed rate work for first wheat.

Hybery versus other mainstream bread making wheats with a range of nitrogen timings, as well as Yara nitrogen response work on first wheat.

A second wheat field demonstrating seed rate comparisons and Yara nitrogen response work.

Please note the postcode CB8 9HN which will bring you to the trial field.

To help us with catering and plot tours please register your interest by emailing sarahmcgarr@cropco.co.uk

 

Hybrid Wheat varieties will also be on display at our regional distributor open days including:

17th & 18th June – DKB Crop Protection (Walworth) 01325 489848

24th June – BCW Agriculture (Market Drayton) 01630 655722

2nd July – Pearce Seeds Open Day (Sherborne) 01935 389226

7th July – Acorn Seeds (Downham Market) 01366 388915

9th July – Wallace of Kelso 01573 224131

If you are attending Cereals 2014 you will find Hybrid Wheat with parent varieties in the Velcourt area.

You will find further details on all these events here as they become available.

 

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Come and see us at the Essex Young Farmers show

There will be a warm welcome on our stand at the Essex Young Farmers Country Show on Sunday 18 May, Boyton Hall, Roxwell.

You will find us beside the main ring and we will have a BBQ, hot drinks and lots to see.

We look forward to seeing you there.

More details on the show can be found here (and Essex Young Farmers new single is here).

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