Bill Angus, Nickerson's senior wheat breeder, with Alchemy winter wheat
Winter Wheat Launched A Year Early
The development of strobilurin-resistant strains of Septoria tritici
means farmers will be looking for varieties that have a high level
of in-built resistance to them.
With this in mind plant breeding company Nickerson have decided
to launch their new winter wheat variety Alchemy a year early,
with limited supplies available through all distributors for sowing
"Although high yield will continue to be the key driver in
variety choice, other factors such as disease resistance will become
increasingly important," says Nickerson's cereals product
manager Lee Robinson.
In the 2003/2004 National List trials, Alchemy scored 108 for
treated yield, and a massive 121 on untreated plots - highlighting
the variety's inherent disease resistance.
Scoring 9 for resistance to Yellow and Brown Rust, 8 for mildew
and Septoria nodorum and 7 for Septoria tritici, Alchemy has the
best all round disease resistance of any wheat ever produced by
Nickerson. Based on current data, Nickerson also expect Alchemy
to be rated 9 for standing power.
"We are very excited about Alchemy's potential, which is
why we are launching it a year early. We have taken steps to produce
as much seed as possible for autumn 2005 sowing, so that anyone
wanting to try an acreage should be able to do so," adds Mr
This new variety, the latest to emerge from Nickerson's highly
successful wheat breeding programme, has already sparked a great
deal of interest despite only being added to the National List
last December. It will enter Recommended List trials this year,
with the prospect of becoming fully recommended in 2006.
Alchemy is classified a Group 4 variety, but offers several marketing
options. It is a soft endosperm type, and early Chopin Alveograph
results indicate the potential to fit into the UKS export category.
Distilling data has also shown it to have high spirit yields, similar
The physical grain characteristics of high specific weight and
Hagberg falling number will help it meet the specifications of
its target markets.