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Spring wheat: results of the state variety trials 2017

Spring wheat disappointed

The 2017 harvest year was not a year for summer cereals. Spring drought and extreme heat phases in May and June offered extremely poor conditions for good stand development. Thin, unusually early crops with disappointing yields were the norm. Fortunately, the cultivation area in North Rhine-Westphalia was only 3000 hectares. Heinrich Brockerhoff and Heinz Koch report on the opportunities and risks of the culture, the results of the regional variety trials and cultivation tips.

Opportunities and Risks of Culture

Spring wheat genetically has the highest yield potential of all summer cereals. High yields can only be achieved in good locations with timely sowing and sufficient water supply. The earnings performance on weaker locations is very uncertain. Summer oats or spring barley are the better choice here. In arable regions with appropriate alternatives, spring wheat is only used when nothing else is possible. Ordering wheat after a very late beet or corn maize harvest and unfavorable weather and soil conditions are a corresponding example. But here too, summer wheat only comes into play when late-sowing winter wheat varieties cannot be drilled. For late sowing dates, summer wheat varieties are also suitable, which are referred to as so-called "alternating wheat". These varieties have a limited winter hardiness. An opportunity in mild regions, a risk at high altitudes. Of the varieties tested in the state variety test, only Jack has an alternating wheat suitability certified by the Federal Office for Alternatives. Advantages in the marketing of spring wheat arise from the better quality of the varieties. All grades available are of A or E quality and are sure to achieve quality surcharges.

The results of the national variety trials

Despite the minor importance of cultivation, the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture is testing corresponding varieties at two locations. To ensure the results, the test is carried out together with other federal states in comparable soil and climatic areas. In 2017, tests were carried out in Kerpen-Buir (Cologne-Aachener Bucht) and Lage-Heiden (East Westphalia) in North Rhine-Westphalia. Locations from North Rhine-Westphalia are supplemented by locations from Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. For clay locations, a total of five tests can be used to reliably assess the variety. The test is carried out in two cultivation intensities. In addition to a customary variant with two fungicide measures, there is a variant without the use of fungicides. The health of the variety is checked here. The standard practice variant forms the basis of the results presented. Table 1 shows the multi-year yields of the varieties. The yield level of only 65 dt / ha in the 2017 crop year illustrates the poor growth conditions of the year. Table 2 shows the properties of the varieties according to the current classification of the Federal Plant Variety Office and Table 3 summarizes the variety recommendation for the upcoming sowing. The availability of seeds for the new varieties is very limited. A very safe and good recommendation for the upcoming sowing is also the Tybalt variety, which was eliminated from the trials in 2017.

How are the varieties to be assessed?

The variety Sonett can be judged very reliably. As an e-wheat, it is below average in yield. Attention must be paid to ear fusarium. The awned A wheat Quintus has now been tested every four years. Quintus shows a very stable yield and is also relatively healthy with the exception of powdery mildew. The variety is also classified as good for Ährenfusarium. Licamero (A) has been tested for three years and also reliably shows above-average yields. The good rating at Ährenfusarium is positive. Attention must be paid to brown rust. Due to the above-average yields over several years and the agronomic properties, Licamero and Quintus are the main recommendations for the upcoming sowing.

KWS Mistral shows changing yields after two years of testing. A below-average year 2016 was followed by a good year 2017. In terms of agronomic properties, there are no recognizable advantages over varieties that have been tested for a long time.

Anabel, Jack, KWS Sharki and Zenon were added to the range of tests, four E-Wheat and Servus with an A-Wheat. In 2017, Jack, KWS Sharki and Zenon were at the same level as Sonett in terms of yield. The E-Wheat Anabel showed an above-average yield in the first test year. According to the breeder's classification, the variety is short, stable and healthy. The A-Weizen Servus impressed in the first year of testing with above-average yields. The variety is short, stable and healthy except for brown rust.

Tips for sowing

Like the seed, so the harvest. This truism is especially true for all summers. The short growing season gives the crops few opportunities to compensate. Spring wheat should be sown as early as possible. Typical sowing dates are at the end of February or beginning of March. Dry, cold, high-pressure weather conditions are very suitable for sowing, as germination takes place just above freezing point. The sowing rate should then be 350 to 380 germinable seeds / m2. In the case of late sowing, appropriate allowances must be made, as there is hardly any time left for tillering. 420 to 450 germinable grains / m2 are then required here. When sowing, the soil below must be loose, free from interfering layers or waterlogging, and with good root penetration. Any "smearing in" or silting after sowing are bitterly punished if the field emerges poorly and the stand development is poor. The sowing depth should be 2 to 4 cm. Too deep a seed costs the seedling energy, which it could use better later in the short tillering phase.

Author: Heinrich Brockerhoff, Heinz Koch