Three of its 'exceptional' winter wheat varieties, featuring a wide range of valuable traits, have been promoted to the 2022/23 AHDB Recommended List, pointed out RAGT Seeds.

Two feed varieties, RGT Bairstow and RGT Stokes, and a biscuit wheat, RGT Rashid, are the latest stars to emerge from the company’s breeding programme.

RGT Bairstow has become the highest yielding soft feed variety on the RL, with a five-year treated mean yield of 103.1%.

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It also has the highest second wheat yield of any recommended soft wheat variety at 104.3%, almost a point ahead of its nearest rival, pointed out RAGT.

The variety delivered exceptional results in all regions, building on its early promise as a consistent performer.

Grain quality is good, with Hagberg at 228 and specific weight at 75.9kg/hl. This is well above the minimum feed wheat specification and comfortably ahead of the 74kg/hl spec that has secured some good premiums for soft Group 4 wheats this season.

These figures are underpinned by RGT Bairstow’s reluctance to sprout in the ear and resistance to orange wheat blossom midge.

The variety is also rated good for distilling, an obvious attraction in Scotland, where the variety also gains its biggest yield advantage over its main rivals.

Parentage includes Revelation, Santiago and a double cross of Cougar, which is said to produce its excellent all-round disease resistance package, borne out by an impressive resistance rating for septoria tritici of 6.4 based on the AHDB three-year dataset.

The variety has solid ratings of 7 and 6 for yellow rust and mildew respectively and is resistant to orange wheat blossom midge.

RGT Stokes had similar yield potential to Bairstow, achieving 102.4% of controls in the AHDB’s five-year dataset, but it saved its best for the West, where it racks up an exceptional treated yield of 105.2%.

The variety, a Cougar, Santiago and double Revelation cross, also had a strong three-year septoria tritici resistance rating of 6.9, ahead of any other soft wheat. It also scored a 7 and 5 for yellow rust and mildew.

RGT Stokes also produces very big yields in the North, with an official 104% rating. It is likely to attract a strong following here too, thanks to its good distilling rating.

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In analysis carried out by the Scottish Whisky Research Institute, the variety produced the overall highest alcohol yield in 2021 of RL candidates and control varieties.

Early drilling potential and the fact it makes a good second wheat will add to its appeal as will the fact that it is very stiff strawed when treated with PGR and exhibits good grain quality, with 248 Hagberg and 75.3kg/ha specific weight.

Group 3 newcomer, RGT Rashid, is recommended for the East region and looks to be a secure choice for growers from Yorkshire through the Midlands to the south coast, offering high yields and good premiums.