Match variety to farm situation for best performance
Drilling date is rarely given the consideration it warrants and yet most varieties deliver their best performances when sown in a defined window of time. There are those slow developers which better suit early drilling and there are those vigorous types which do better when sown towards the end of the autumn. Overlook this fact and you might just spend the rest of the season ruing your mistake.
Most varieties fit what we think of as the ‘normal’ sowing window. This is shorter than it was only a few seasons ago because of the loss of prothioconazole and clothianidin-based seed treatments which reduced the risks posed by plant diseases and virus-carrying insects. Other varieties are clearly better suited to being sown early or late. Matching variety to the farm situation is an exercise in judgement.
Even with varieties that offer a wide autumn sowing window there are compromises to be considered. Push it too far in one direction or the other and yield potential will be reduced, disease pressure can be increased, and grain quality can be negatively impacted.
There is much to consider when choosing a variety, but drilling window rarely receives the attention it deserves. Its worth taking some time to consider if you have selected the best variety for your farm situation.