There’s much more to Extase than Septoria resistance

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Although KWS Extase’s 8.1 for Septoria control and 10.6t/ha untreated yield – the highest on the 2020/21 RL - are undoubtedly its headline figures, there’s much more to the variety than this, says the company’s Dr. Kirsty Richards.

“It’s unavoidable that growers are going to see these numbers and think they can cut inputs with Extase, which is true in the right conditions, but don’t forget it’s also the highest yielding of all the premium wheats on the current RL so it responds well to investment, too.

“Overall, it’s Extase’s combination of flexibility and resilience that means it is most likely to achieve its full yield potential in the real world.

“As a dynamic quality wheat it has also had a great response from millers thanks to a reliable baking performance along with an RL-leading Hagberg number of 297 and specific weight of 78.4 kg/hl and these help make Extase the stand out variety package.

The variety’s resilience means when the sprays are late, disease does not get into the plant and start robbing yield, she explains.

“Its about managing risk and if the disease pressure is low then Extase should have the cheapest fungicide bill on the farm.

“Extase may have a 9 for yellow rust but this is adult plant resistance which kicks in during the spring.

“It has not been listed by ADHB as exhibiting seedling yellow rust resistance so you may be safe to cut out T0 in the right conditions.

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“Equally there are some opportunities for looking at T1and T2 and using a combination of older and newer chemistry, but you should always be mindful of not using too little and leaving the genetics exposed.

“Ear washes may also offer a potential saving but if growing for a quality market or if ear diseases and brown rust are a concern regionally, then its worth protecting your crop.

“More ‘self-contained’ varieties with improved disease resistance is very much the direction of travel we are moving in, but the last thing anybody wants is for Extase to be seen as low input variety and its resistance be unnecessarily challenged.

“Extase has major gene resistance from Boisseau, which has been commercially available for 6-7 years and is still really clean, and this is complemented with good background resistance from its other parent Solehio.

“It takes around 12 years to breed in strong disease resistance like this and careful use of fungicides has a vital role to play in protecting the genes for the longer term.”

The high levels of resistance to disease combined with strong physical traits mean Extase is a very reliable and robust crop to grow, Kirsty Richards says.

It has the potential to deliver consistently high yields of premium quality breadmaking wheat in conditions that others could struggle in
Dr. Kirsty Richards , KWS Knowledge Transfer Manager

“Compared to many other varieties, Extase is less dependent on chemistry to deliver its yield, more resilient in the face of increasingly variable growing conditions and more flexible in its management.

“Extase is vigorous, so it can be drilled end of September and keep ahead of everything else right through to an early harvest spot plus it’s extremely stiff so it’s very manageable all the way through the growing season.

“It has the potential to deliver consistently high yields of premium quality breadmaking wheat in conditions that others could struggle in – which is increasingly important.”

Despite the appalling conditions, seed crops of Extase have come through the winter well – a testament to its resilience – and there should be enough seed stocks to supply the markets, she adds.

“Early indications are for a very high demand for this Autumn and we are confident it will become a very popular variety. Growers who are interested in Extase this year, should contact their seed supplier as soon as possible.”

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