The list of candidate wheats up for addition to the Recommended List (RL) this autumn is dominated by hard feed types.
The stand-out variety is the hard feed KWS Kinetic which combines a high treated yield, with a strong Septoria tritici resistance that is among the best in the Group 4 category and the best specific weight of any candidate variety with excellent protein and Hagberg falling number.
At 105% of controls its treated yield is at the top of the group, but it will be its stiff straw, early maturity and high specific weight that will capture grower interest.
Interest in the variety is such that KWS took the unusual step of releasing seed for multiplication before it completed National List trials meaning growers will have access to seed for commercial production this autumn. Commercial seed is not typically available until the year after a variety has received recommendation.
The decision to produce commercial seed in advance of recommendation comes from its outstanding performance in early trials. Given how some of the recent introductions have struggled to deliver consistent performances, the strong performances registered by KWS Kinetic during this time attracted inevitable interest from the seed trade and the involved growers.
A cross between Reflection and KWS Silverstone, KWS Kinetic has orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) resistance and has performed strongly in all regions though its highest yields have come in the east and west. At 83cm it is of average height.
Another hard feed candidate from KWS is, KWS Parkin. A cross between Reflection and Costello, it has a treated yield of 103% of controls and has performed strongly across all regions but has delivered its highest yields in the west and north.
It is extremely stiff strawed while at 78 cm it is one of the shortest varieties available. This is complemented by very early maturity, good all-round disease resistance and good specific weight.
Those seeking a new two-row winter barley may want to take a closer look at the RL candidate, KWS Hawking. At 107% of controls it is the highest yielding candidate in trials while at 70.2kg/hl it has a specific weight better than most of the varieties on the RL.
It has performed consistently well across all regions with its best performances coming in the east and west. KWS Hawking has maturity equal to KWS Orwell.