2013-09-09   facebook twitter rss

Consider Mix of Wheat Maturities to Spread Harvest Workload

Winter wheat growers looking to spread next year’s harvest workloads and risks should consider planting varieties with a range of different maturities this autumn, urges crop team agronomist, James Evans, of Syngenta.

According to Mr Evans, there is a natural tendency to focus on high yield when choosing varieties, but for practical reasons maturity is also an important consideration.

Winter wheat growers should consider planting varieties with a range of maturities this autumn to spread workloads next harvest, believes Syngenta agronomist, James Evans.

Winter wheat growers should consider planting varieties with a range of maturities this autumn to spread workloads next harvest, believes Syngenta agronomist, James Evans.

“If growers put all their eggs in one basket by growing only later-maturing varieties, it can cause difficulties and bottlenecks at harvest,” explains Mr Evans.

“Conversely, growing varieties with different maturity dates can help to spread not only harvest workload, but also harvest risk, against the effects of the weather. Growing earlier-maturing varieties could mean that grain is already in store if the latter part of harvest turns wet. It can also allow more time for establishing following crops. Oilseed rape establishment definitely becomes more challenging as drilling shifts later, as was widely seen in 2012.

“Also the effects of late winter wheat maturity can be especially pronounced if the weather means we have a delayed harvest. And delays can cause particular problems in milling wheat – for example by depleting grain quality in terms of Hagberg falling number, potentially leading to losses in premium,” he adds.

“When looking at winter wheat varieties, consider their ripening figures on the HGCA Recommended List,” Mr Evans suggests.

Looking at milling wheat specifically, Mr Evans says among the nabim Group 1 varieties on the HGCA Recommended List, Gallant not only has an early maturity score but also a high Hagberg falling number so it starts from a high base.

Additionally, he says Gallant can also develop quickly in the spring to reach key growth stages early. That can be useful for spreading workload timings for inputs such as fertiliser and crop protection treatments, Mr Evans points out.

Syngneta

   
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