2018 winter cereal recommended lists are out

By Siobhan Walsh

The winter cereal recommended lists for 2018 were published last week by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Crop Variety Evaluation (CVE) team.

All varieties were tested in a number of locations throughout the tillage regions of the country, and all were tested in unsprayed conditions and on high-nitrogen sites – allowing disease resistance and straw strength to be examined more closely.

The recommended winter barley varieties of KWS Cassia, KWS Infinity, KWS Tower, Leibniz, Quadra and Volume remain unchanged. KWS Kosmos, which is a six-row variety, was provisionally recommended for the first time.

All varieties moved down a point on the relative yield scale apart from the six-row Leibniz. Varieties remain unchanged in their score for lodging, straw breakdown and earliness of ripening, apart from KWS Tower which went down a point on the straw breakdown criterion. KWS Infinity and KWS Tower moved down a point on mildew and net blotch respectively.

The six-row varieties on the recommended list, being produced by growers for Seed Technology Ltd, are all placing higher for relative yield than previously. However, average hectolitre weight was higher in the two-row varieties; so too was thousand grain weight.

Straw breakdown was weaker overall for six-row varieties but, in general, six-row varieties had higher disease resistance.

KWS Tower will take up 30% of the seed availability for the coming season, with KWS Cassia (25%) and KWS Infinity (19%) making up the remainder of the top three.

Winter barley variety seed availability (%) (source: DAFM, 2017):
  • KWS Tower 30;
  • KWS Cassia 25;
  • KWS Infinity 19;
  • Quadra 8;
  • Kosmos 6;
  • Bazooka 5;
  • Carneval 5;
  • Escardia 1;
  • Belfry 1.

The recommended list for winter wheat sees two varieties – Costello and Garrus – move from the provisionally recommended list to push the total number of wheats, which are fully recommended, to six.

Garrus has the highest relative yield of the fully recommended varieties, but has a low rating for sprouting – a trait would not be good in the wheat harvest just gone. Costello has the highest hectolitre weight on the list – at an impressive 80.2kg/hl – and takes up 15% of the seed availability this year.

recommended lists winter cereal cereals
Image source: Shane Casey

JB Diego is an old reliable on the winter wheat list; it makes up 39% of the winter wheat seed available for 2017 sowing. This variety, which is distributed by Germinal Seeds, has moderate ratings on disease and straw strength.

JB Diego has the highest protein content of the recommended varieties and also has a high hectolitre weight. It comes in joint second, with Avatar, for relative yield.

Rockefeller stays on the provisionally recommended list and is joined by Bennington and Torp, which have the highest relative yield on the list respectively.

Winter wheat variety seed availability (%) (source: DAFM, 2017):
  • JB Diego 39;
  • Costello 15;
  • Avatar 10;
  • Torp 8;
  • Garrus 7;
  • KWS Lili 6;
  • Bennington 4;
  • KWS Lumos 4;
  • KWS Barny 3;
  • Rockefeller 2;
  • Graham 1;
  • Conros 1.

The winter oats list saw Vodka replaced by Keely, which is provisionally recommended for the first time this year. Barra still remains on the list – 31 years after its first appearance. The other oat variety listed – Husky – rates highest on lodging, straw breakdown, earliness of ripening and winter hardiness.