Autumn sowing: tried-and-tested grain types and new hopeful prospects

The autumn sowing of the 2016 winter grain crops 2016 winter grain crops is fast approaching. In order to choose the varieties for cultivating that are right for the company and the location, many criteria need to be taken into account. Primarily, the yield characteristics of the respective varieties are analysed, not forgetting to pay attention to the susceptibility to diseases.

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The winter barley this year was not able to reach the high yields of 2015, which was a record year. Yields were a lot lower in many places and the kernel qualities were on the average side. The reasons for this included the weather during grain filling, the fertilisation strategy and the late and sometimes high ramularia risk. The experimental results of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG for the threshed and evaluated performance tests can be found here here.

New varieties tested

The barley varieties tested by the AGRAVIS testing company this year included, alongside many old and well-known varieties, the new varieties Joker, KWS Kosmos and KWS Infinity.

The multiline variety Joker has the highest yield rating of the line varieties with good leaf health, but a slight weakness for leaf rust. Particularly worth mentioning is its double-resistance to both types of yellow mosaic virus (BaYMV1+2, BaMMV).

The KWS Kosmosvariety, also approved in 2015, offers high yields, good straw stability, and also has good leaf health, but with a distinct weakness for leaf rust.

The KWS Infinity variety is a new, high-performance, very stable two-line variety with widespread good leaf health and straw stability and high thousand kernel weight (TKW). The well-known varieties Matros, California and KWS Glacier also achieve this performance level.

The Matros variety above all proved how well it performs again this year in the light-soil location in Münster on the AGRAVIS research farm. This late-ripening variety features impressively good winter hardiness and resistance to mildew and leaf rust.

The hybrid barley Celoona performed excellently in this year's harvest for the second time. It boasts good leaf health, high yields in all locations and is also suitable for lighter, barley-compatible soils. Its stability should be ensured, as with many other high-yield barley varieties. Celoona shows a good reaction to the use of growth regulators. With hybrid barley varieties, the benefits continue to be consistent and strong yield, as well as tolerance to late sowing.

Lower yields, good quality wheat

The wheat harvest also produced slightly lower yields, but with good kernel quality. The new wheat variety Benchmark particularly stands out. Introduced last year on many Field Days, this B wheat is rated as a high-yield variety and has also proved this in AGRAVIS performance tests. This stable and shorter variety features impressively good resistance against all diseases, with a slight weakness for brown rust and with regard to winter hardiness (not early seeding). Benchmark is therefore particularly suitable as stubble wheat, if it is not drilled too early.

KWS Barny is one of the varieties newly approved by the Bundessortenamt (German Federal Plant Variety Office) in 2016 that is particularly worthy of mention. This very high-yield B wheat variety, with a top yield rating of 9, had already demonstrated its performance potential last year in the variety tests at St. Mauritz. KWS Barny is characterised by good leaf health and average susceptibility to fusarium fungi. This strong profile means that the variety is potentially interesting for maize crop rotations that are problematic due to fusarium fungi. With somewhat above-average growth, this variety is suitable for late sowing, but should not grow too vigorously if the seed rate is adjusted for early seeding.

Manitou is a promising variety newly approved in 2015. This C wheat variety with a very high yield rating boasts good winter hardiness and stability as well as widespread good leaf health. This variety is suitable for all locations, preceding crops and sowing times.

RGT Reform excelled as the highest-yield A wheat variety in the tests of the last two years. As well as high yields and very good quality features, this variety offers good winter hardiness, low susceptibility to leaf and ear diseases and broad location suitability.

JB Asano is another large A wheat variety which produces high yields and has a high TKW, average quality and a good flour yield. This variety is suitable for all locations and has low susceptibility to mildew and brown rust, but a weakness in its resistance to yellow rust.

Varieties suitable for late sowing for maize crop rotations

Maize crop rotations require varieties with low susceptibility to ear fusarium diseases which are also suitable for late sowing, depending on the maize harvest date, such as Anapolis, RGT Reform and the Johnny variety which was introduced last year.

Tobak is a high-yield wheat in the B segment which has been widely cultivated for many years in many regions. However, this variety should never be grown after maize, or after sugar beet without ploughing, due to its high fusarium rating.

The B wheat variety Desamo is a very hardy variety with high yield potential and good quality features. This short, healthy-leafed variety is suitable for all locations and preceding crops.

Difficult triticale crops

In some regions this spring, some triticale crops died in the fields. Depending on the region, some varieties came up more in discussion, but there were also many good crops, so that ultimately the varieties could not be held solely to blame. This occurrence was caused by many factors, such as the condition of the land (pH value, soil structure), placement depths, weather conditions such as high precipitation in the winter months causing nutrient leaching and early risk of infection by mildew and yellow rust. This led to conversion of the land to other uses in many areas.

Among the triticale varieties, the early-ripening variety Fredro performed very well at St. Mauritz. Due to its growth it is suitable for late sowing and has good leaf health, especially with regard to resistance to mildew and yellow rust. Thanks to its plant length and low vulnerability in storage, the variety is also suitable for operations with high use of farm manure as well as farmers who expect a high straw yield. In spring 2016, Fredro performed well and with vitality compared to the varieties that failed due to stress.

Barolo Barolo is another new variety (approved in 2015) that is now being cultivated. This variety produces high to very high yields. Its yield productivity is due to its medium to high crop density and very high number of kernels per ear with a medium TKW. Barolo has very good leaf health, particularly with regard to yellow rust, and very good ear fusarium tolerance. This variety is short and stable. The old, well-known and proven varieties Dinaro, Adverdo and Silverado are still available for autumn sowing. For Adverdo and Silverado in particular, however, the fungicide strategy should be matched to the resistance profile.

Summary: For sowing in 2016, some interesting new varieties are available in addition to the well-known and proven varieties. By systematically selecting the right variety according to the location, soil, sowing time and properties, you can lay the foundations this autumn for a successful 2017 harvest.

For more information on this subject, please contact Thomas Schulze Pröbsting, tel. 0172-6799053,, or Eberhard Möller, tel. 0171-9902051,, or click here here.