Achieving high yields and gaining a premium is always an attractive proposition for growers as they look to maximise their most profitable crop – and now with the added bonus of on-farm security, LG Astronomer makes for a really attractive package for the coming season, says Ron Granger from plant breeder Limagrain UK.
LG Astronomer offers consistency in biscuit wheat yields, with a UK wide yield of 101.1% and a very impressive untreated yield of 86%; significantly better than the untreated yields of KWS Firefly (80%) and KWS Barrel (71%).
“Its best performance is in the east (102%) and its characteristics will suit growers in both the west and the north,” he adds.
LG Astronomer pedigree of ‘(Cougar x Leeds) x Britannia’, has resulted in a variety that is tall and stiff strawed with OWBM resistance, and a similar maturity of ‘+1’, to KWS Firefly.
“Its disease resistance profile is pretty impressive, particularly for the rusts – with ratings of 9 for both brown and yellow rust, and this is supported by a very good septoria tritici rating of 7.4, raising the bar above the present commercial biscuit varieties, Elicit (5.1) and KWS Firefly (6.8).”
“The variety shows a flexibility in rotational positioning, that makes it really useful on farm,” says Mr Granger. “It is equally as good as a second wheat or a first wheat, and in Limagrain trials, performs very well in both medium and heavy soil types – which is backed up by the AHDB RL data sets.”
“Although limited data for now, we have found the variety to perform well in an earlier drilling slot – performing much better than many other biscuits at this time due to its superb agronomic package.”
”LG Astronomer can also be sown through to mid-February, which is a really useful characteristic, considering the late drilling seasons we currently seem to be faced with.”
Grain quality is very important for a biscuit wheat, and LG Astronomer stands out with its excellent quality attributes – starting with a specific weight of 77.8 kg/hl, protein content of 11.9% and HFN of 238.
“This is one of the best specific weights on the RL, irrespective of the UK Wheat Millers (nabim) Grouping.”
For this coming season, growers have the exciting option of growing a wheat variety that will deliver whatever the season throws at it, cope with a range of rotational positions, and also offer the added bonus of a biscuit or distilling premium, by choosing LG Astronomer, concludes Mr Granger.