Across two highly contrasting seasons KWS Kerrin has topped variety trials for GrainCo hosted by Stephen Buckle, host farm of the demonstration ground at Limebar Farm, Boroughbridge, delivering 0.7t/ha more than the next best-performing feed wheat. At £177/t, Kerrin’s extra yield is worth £124/ha to enterprise output.
The trials are conducted at GrainCo’s site at Boroughbridge and is now in its eleventh season of continuous winter wheat.
At 11.4 tonnes per hectare in 2018 trials and 10.5 in 2017, Kerrin produced a two-year average of 10.95t/ha. Out-yielding its nearest feed wheat competitor, Costello, by 0.45t/ha over two seasons.
In contrast, the second best-performing variety across two seasons, KWS Zyatt, produced an average 10.7t/ha while Group 2 favourite, KWS Siskin produced a two-year average yield of 10.5t/ha, putting it on a par with Costello.
The trials reflect much of what is seen in this year’s official trials managed by AHDB with KWS Kerrin the highest yielding fully recommended variety while last year’s notable varieties languish in the bottom half of the pack.
GrainCo seed manager Peter Collins described the performance of Kerrin as reassuring given the testing conditions of the season.
“While it’s been a tough year for some growers, the weather in the north of England has been generally favourable meaning for many in the region it is proving to be a good year. Where good conditions were matched with a high-yielding variety such as KWS Kerrin and KWS Zyatt it is turning out to be a truly excellent year.
“The weather in both 2017 and 2018 presented unique challenges and yet we have seen the same varieties performing well regardless of the season. In most cases, varieties have tended to perform better this year than last. It seems that there was sufficient moisture, despite the low rainfall recorded, while the bright, sunny days during grain-fill proved invaluable to fulfilling yield potential,” he adds.
Commenting on the recent news that Vivergo, the ethanol plant at Hull, is due to close at the end of September, Mr Collins suggested that growers searching for a high-yielding variety with broad market appeal should consider Siskin and Zyatt.
“Kerrin is by far the highest-yielding variety in our trials and if growers have a feed market in mind than it is a sensible choice, but where the market is undefined then Zyatt and Siskin are the sensible choices. Both are consistently high-yielding while as quality wheats they offer market appeal beyond the traditional feed home,” he says.