KWS Siskin tops winter wheat trials in the south west


Across replicated plots, the Group 2 variety KWS Siskin came out on top in winter wheat trials managed by Pearce Seeds.

A treated yield of 124% of the controls (14.08t/ha), KWS Siskin beat the second highest yielding variety by just 1% and also managed a slightly higher specific weight at 72.2kg/hl.† The two top performers were the only varieties among the 42 trialled to post a yield of more than 14t/ha.

New Group 1 bread-maker, KWS Zyatt also performed well with a yield of 115% of controls making it the highest yielding Group 1 in trial.

The trial highlighted the importance of good disease resistance with those varieties offering high yield potential and strong Septoria resistance performing best, says Cas Sandy of Pearce Seeds.

“Siskin has been a variety that has shown great promise and has proven itself by coming top this harvest,” says Cas Sandy.

“It is best sown from the third week in September which should fit well with farmers across the south west while its strong disease profile and high yield performance mean it has a place on every farm whether it is grown as a quality wheat or as a high-yielding feed,” she adds.

Siskin proves a winner in Dorset

After six weeks with nothing more than a light shower of rain, Dorset farm manager Jon Antell feared the worst for his winter wheats. Like many others who had endured a similar situation leading up to harvest, he began to steadily revise his yield projections. Fortunately, when it came to it, there were a few pleasant surprises that helped raise his mood.

The pick of the bunch was 16 hectares of KWS Siskin. Based outside Blandford Forum, his KWS Siskin averaged 10.3t/ha and was grown as a first wheat after oilseed rape.

Chosen for its excellent Septoria tritici resistance and all-round disease profile, yield potential is a secondary priority. Nonetheless, when it came to harvest it impressed and he plans to grow it again next season.

“It beat all my expectations. Having seen our other varieties lose tillers during the drought in March and April I became increasingly concerned, but the Siskin fared a lot better. It got up and got away from the start. The growth by T0 was startling. It tillered well and kept them while others didn’t,” he says.

Although a Group 2 variety, Mr Antell grew the two fields of KWS Siskin as a feed and treated it no differently the other varieties sown this season.

“I view disease resistance as a risk management tool to give a degree of security when timings are delayed or pressure is intense. It received four fungicides as did all my wheat,” he says.

Grown to a feed protocol, it received 230 kg N/ha plus sulphur across three applications and a further 250 kg P and K/ha.

“We will grow it again next year, but will be increasing the area. It looks to be the new variety I have been searching for and look forward to growing it for several years to come,” he adds.

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