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Stackyard News Dec 07

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Exciting New Milling Wheat Joins HGCA Recommended List

The addition of exciting new milling wheat, Marksman to the HGCA Recommended List this week (Dec 6) offers UK growers the opportunity to capitalise on the quality market at least production risk.

new holland T7000

One of just three new varieties to get on the official 2008/9 list and the only one with any quality, Marksman is the latest robust wheat from the RAGT Seeds’ Cambridge breeding programme. It is rated as a high quality Group 2 by UK millers with clear milling and baking advantages and has useful export potential.

“What really stands out about the variety is its combination of yield and protein content,” explains RAGT Seeds wheat breeder Ed Flatman. “Three years of official trials reveal a higher protein content than any Group 1 wheat except Hereward combined with a Solstice-level yield. This gives Marksman a superior nitrogen efficiency to any other variety and results in remarkably consistent protein contents at very reasonable levels of nitrogen input.

“Especially valuable too in a milling wheat is the variety’s rapid development in the spring to give an earliness of maturity second only to Soissons,” he points out. “What’s more, it shows a good stability of HFN coupled with a good resistance to sprouting.”

An excellent disease resistance package is another particular virtue of the new variety. This includes ratings of 8 for brown rust, 7 for mildew and yellow rust and the added value of Pch1 eyespot resistance. With these attributes it has, unsurprisingly, performed particularly well in untreated RL trials.

“Among milling wheats only Battalion has higher untreated yields,” Ed Flatman points out. “Equally, despite similar yields under a full fungicide regime, Marksman outperforms Cordiale by fully 9% when untreated. This means growers have far greater leeway in fungicide timings – particularly valuable as larger acreages of wheat put increasing pressure on spraying workloads.”
Marksman adds significantly to RAGT Seeds robust wheat portfolio. As a high quality Group 2, it complements Battalion’s relative Group 2 yield strength especially well, while delivering very similar all-round agronomic advantages.

Like Battalion and the company’s other robust varieties, it performs equally well in the dry (east) and wet (west) regions, in light and heavy soils and in first and second wheat positions. And it has stiff, medium length straw with a good resistance to lodging both with and without PGR.

“While Battalion which has great advantages for early September sowing, Marksman is better suited to more conventional drilling from mid-September,” adds Ed Flatman. “We have no doubt it offers growers an excellent opportunity to earn the highest of margins from very marketable, high quality grain produced with the greatest consistency and efficiency.”

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