Wheat Optimum Drilling for 2020

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What is the importance of variety selection?

It’s a simple truth that 80% of the potential crop production you are likely to see is in-built in the seed you drill.

You can influence it to a degree by good management, how much nitrogen you apply and the standard of your agronomy, but fundamentally what you will get from a yield and quality perspective is locked in when you make that variety decision.

The graphic below is designed to advise you on our wider portfolio of wheats and when each variety should be sown to achieve its optimum performance.

The bars indicate each wheat optimum drilling time, where orange represents the variety's Sowing for Peak Performance period and greys shows the full window of suitable sowing times.

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Varieties we recommend drilling first

KWS Parkin, KWS Firefly and KWS Zyatt all perform well in a September sown slot.

Below is a table outlining the seed rates and timings we would recommend to get optimum performance from each variety.

Variety Drill it from: Good seed bed conditions Poor seed bed conditions Light soil type Heavy soil type Comments
KWS Parkin  Mid September  280-300  300-325  250-300  300-325  
  • Medium/light tillering
  • Can take a higher seed rate if needed, but not as neccesary as with Grafton
KWS Firefly  3rd week of September  225-250  275-325  225-250  275-300  
  • High tillering
  • Normal seed rates
KWS Zyatt  4th week of September *225-250  275-325  250-275  275-300  
  • High tillering
  • Normal seed rates

*Good 2nd wheat seed bed

View our Sowing for Peak Performance infographic guide!

3 characteristics you need from a variety for later drilling

  • Autumn vigour; establishing well and mazimising time for tillering
  • Spring vigour; rapid movement making up for lost time from later drilling, whilst extending the grain fill period
  • Proven performance; in yield and grain quality from the later sown slots

Ideal variety choices up until the end of November would be the KWS varieties Lili, Kinetic, Jackal, Zyatt, Barrel, Basset. Whilst Kerrin, Extase, Siskin, Crispin and the new Cranium continue to deliver strong performances drilled up to the end of December.

See the "Wheat Optimum Drilling Times" graphic above for the Peak Performance timings of each variety.

Seed rates we recommend for October and later drilling

Below is a table outlining the seed rates and timings we would recommend to get optimum performance from your wheats when drilling in October, November, December and January

Month Good seed bed conditions Poor seed bed conditions Light soil type Heavy soil type Comments
October drilling  300-375  300-375  375-400  350-400  
  • Most wheats are well suited to this common drill timing
November drilling 350-400 400-425 350-375 400-450  
  • Getting into the later drilled wheat slots
  • Higher tillering types are suited to compensate
December to January drilling 425-500 500+ 425-475 500+  
  • Tougher position for winter crops, taller strawed varieties often perform better

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