Newmarket: Hybrid wheat trials in spotlight

Richard Fenwick, at a Hybrid Wheat Open Day near Newmarket, commenting on prospective Hybrid Wheat v

Richard Fenwick, at a Hybrid Wheat Open Day near Newmarket, commenting on prospective Hybrid Wheat varieties for the UK market. - Credit: Archant

New Hybrid Wheat varieties with UK market potential were one of the attractions at the Hybrid Wheat Open Day, held at breeder Saaten Union’s Rosalie Field Station at Cowlinge, near Newmarket, on Wednesday.

The high yielding, early, soft wheat Hystar, medium-maturing Hyteck, and Hybery, which has bread making potential, have been developing a strong following in the UK. A range of new, French-bred varieties are now being trialled to see how they perform on this side of the channel.

Variety specialist Richard Fenwick said: “There are a number of interesting new hybrid wheats under test including Hylux which has good disease resistance and might replace Hystar - now in its sixth season - in a few years time.

“Hybrid wheat is proving a consistent performer on the farm and really comes into its own under challenging, stressful conditions such as in drought years, which makes it attractive for marginal land or possibly as a second wheat.”

A series of seed rate trials are in their second year at the field station and a nutrition trial has been established to see how best to exploit the hybrid vigour and yield potential exhibited by hybrids.

John Poulton of national hybrid wheat distributor CROPCO, said: “The area of hybrid wheat grown in the UK continues to expand year on year and we are once again looking forward to harvest to see how the varieties have performed across the country.”