Two new winter wheats from KWS that combine grain quality, high yield potential and all-round strong agronomics highlighted by outstanding disease resistances will be widely available to growers this autumn. As quality milling wheats, both varieties are expected to prove popular with growers as they are advised to keep their marketing options open in an uncertain future.
KWS Extase is a confirmed nabim Group 2 variety that has attracted strong interest for its exceptional untreated yield, which owes much to its unprecedented resistance to Septoria tritici (8.1). In untreated trials it has produced yields of 7% more than the next best performing variety, delivering 95% of treated controls.
KWS Extase is a French-bred quality wheat that is performing well across North-West Europe. It brings new genetics to the UK and it fits well with the conditions we have. While its Septoria tritici resistance score of 8.1 is the first for a UK-listed variety, its performance owes much to its all-round disease resistance with impressive scores for both yellow rust (9) and fusarium ear blight (6) equally noteworthy. KWS Extase has the highest Hagberg Falling Number and specific weight of any Group 2 variety.
Of equal importance to growers is straw strength and maturity and KWS Extase performs strongly here too. In both instances it is similar to that of Skyfall which will support its appeal in the East region while its earliness to mature and good resistance to wet weather diseases will further raise its appeal to those in the North and West. Its speed of movement through stem extension is faster than average and closer to that of varieties such as Gallant so growers will want to prioritise it ahead of others when planning spring fertiliser schedules.
KWS Firefly is a confirmed nabim Group 3 biscuit wheat with the potential to continue the rejuvenation of the Group 3 sector. Biscuit wheats have traditionally been the preserve of growers in the East region, as a result, it is no accident that 75% of biscuit wheat is grown in the East.
KWS Firefly is agronomically superior to other Group 3 varieties and with outstanding disease resistances, is likely to fit well alongside some of the more ‘input-heavy, but high-yielding’ types, such as KWS Kerrin. Its robust Hagberg, excellent disease resistance and good straw strength, has the potential to broaden the appeal of soft wheats beyond the traditional heartland of the East.
KWS Firefly performs strongest in the East and West regions yielding 103% of controls in both regions, whilst KWS Barrel at 105% of controls remains the highest-yielding variety in the North.
KWS Firefly has the stiffest straw of any Group 3, but at 81cm is the shortest of any Group 3 variety. KWS Firefly is resistant to orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM). At 248 seconds KWS Firefly has the highest Hagberg Falling Number of any Group 3 variety. It has consistently delivered high HFN across several contrasting seasons of official trials. It also has the stiffest straw with or without the use of PGR of any Group 3 variety.