Milling Opportunities – Box Out
KWS Country Manager Will Compson believes the current worries over availability of Group 1 wheats in 2021 and beyond is also fuelling Extase’s popularity.
“There are real concerns about the lack of new Group 1 milling wheats coming to market which are being compounded by weaknesses emerging in existing varieties.
“Yellow rust is becoming an increasing problem in Skyfall whilst Crusoe is being outpaced for yield and is increasingly suffering from disease issues. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that – it’s what many are reporting from the field.
“Two years of difficult autumn drilling conditions have not helped the situation and many existing varieties are struggling with the more challenging growing conditions we are facing in the UK now.
“In addition to high yields, many growers have been achieving very good protein contents in the field with KWS Extase so it seems appropriate that we work across the industry to see if we can produce a ‘win win’ situation for both growers, millers and consumers.”
As a result several millers have shown an interest in offering full Group 1 premiums for crops at 13% protein, he explains.
“We want really want to focus on the performance of KWS Extase as a full specification Group 1 milling wheat in more detail at harvest 2021 to see whether it has comparable quality to other Group 1 varieties.
“This could open up several more opportunities in future years with growing numbers of UK millers including the variety as part of their Group 1 intake and purchasing KWS Extase at full Group 1 milling specification and premiums.”
Such schemes connecting breeders, growers and end markets are increasingly important if UK agriculture is to meet the challenges of the future, Will Compson believes.
“On the 2021/22 AHDB, KWS Extase has one of the highest Hagberg numbers at 299 and a specific weight of 78.4 kg/hl which also help make the variety a great choice for millers.
“Co-operation across the industry can deliver great results for all involved and with the increasingly complex requirements involved in modern production this is now essential.”
“Increasingly difficult growing conditions, changes in the legislative framework for agriculture and the high cost of investing in breeding new varieties can only be successfully resolved by a full understanding of needs across the supply chain.
“KWS is committed to playing a key role in this ongoing partnership of ‘like-minds’ and delighted that Extase could help address many of the issues identified with regard to the current supply issues over high quality milling wheat.”