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THE NOW fully Recommended winter wheat, LG Motown, is generating interest from growers who need an early maturing, yet high yielding wheat into their regime.

Its breeder, Limagrain UK, said it is a top-yielding soft wheat which meets the needs of the distilling market – making it suitable for Scotland – and bucks the trend of early maturing varieties producing lower yields.

Because it doesn’t rely on having a longer grain fill period to build high yields, this is good news for those who have to harvest early due to rotational and time constraints, such as drilling oilseed rape or potato harvesting, according to Ed Flatman, a senior wheat breeder for Limagrain.

He said it is a key objective of the Limagrain breeding programme to unlock the antagonism that had previously existed between early maturing wheats and yields.

“When looking at the AHDB Recommended List, LG Motown stands apart from the crowd in terms of its relative maturity, which is a day earlier than the control variety JB Diego, whilst producing high yields of 103% in the east, and 104% in the north – and these yields sit well within the entire group of soft and hard Group 4s – so are pretty impressive,” said Mr Flatman.

Its yield is also reflected in untreated trials, where it was 89% of the treated control – 3% greater than Revelation.

It has an excellent score of 9 against yellow rust, and robust 7 for brown rust and 8 for mildew, with septoria tritici at 6.

Mr Flatman said LG Motown has similar grain attributes to other leading commercial soft feeders on the list, with a specific weight of 75.3 kg/hl and a Hagberg of 217. Its added bonus is its distilling opportunities.

Ron Granger, technical arable manager with Limagrain, said it had ‘Revelation type’ properties, but with the benefit of WOBM resistance and early maturity. However, it does not have the eyespot resistance that Revelation had and eyespot control should be used if conditions for high disease levels occur, he said.

“The variety has a prostrate winter growth habit identified by a quicker growth and more erect plant type in the spring. These characters, along with its performance in a later drilling scenario would suggest the variety should be of use in a blackgrass situation,” he added.

While it is a moderate to high tillering variety – valuable when seed rate or plant counts have been compromised – it is not as stiff-strawed as Revelation, and is not a variety that should be drilled early, ideally from mid-September on.