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Plant breeder challenges concept of ‘barn-filler’ wheats


The perception that only Group 4 hard feed wheats can be termed as ‘barn-
fillers’ is being challenged by leading plant breeder Nickerson.

“Historically, Group 4 feed wheats tended to have a yield advantage over other
types. However, a close look at the current HGCA Recommended List shows that,
with very few exceptions, today’s Group 4 varieties offer little or no yield
advantage over the best of the nabim Group 2 and Group 3 wheats, such as
Panorama and Invicta which deliver significant benefits,” emphasises Lee
Robinson, Director of Marketing – Arable Seeds for Limagrain UK.

“Plant breeders such as Nickerson have invested significant resources in
developing high-performing Group 2 and Group 3 varieties. Panorama, the highest-
yielding of the Group 2s, and Invicta, the highest-yielding nabim Group 3, for
example, match or exceed the yields of most Group 4 feed-only varieties but have
clear advantaged in terms of providing premium potential and open up a much
wider range of marketing options.

“Panorama is one of a new generation of Group 2 milling wheats and appeals to
growers and millers. It has an HGCA Recommended List treated yield of 102, which
compares very favorably with Group 4 varieties, but critically gives growers
access to a much wider range of markets. One of the leading UK millers,
Heygates, likes the variety’s consistent bread-making qualities and has ranked
it the best Group 2 for bread-making.

“Invicta extends the range of opportunities to the domestic biscuit market, as
well as providing grain for other domestic flour needs, such as cakes and
thickeners. It also meets the requirements for export, distilling and animal
feed, while the developing biofuels market will be a valuable additional outlet,
which is a particularly important consideration for growers in the north of the

“Based on the HGCA Recommended List treated yield of 10.81 t/ha and a 10/t
premium over feed wheat at 140/tonne, Panorama generates a gross margin of
1113/ha and Invicta at 10.92 t/ha with a 5/t premium produces 1087/ha, which
is up to 83/ha higher than Group 4s.”

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