Norfolk success for the late-drilled wheat RGT Saki

Publish on May 1, 2023
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Late-drilled wheats have had a strong year on silt and skirt fen at Pates Farm near Welney, Norfolk, none more so than RGT Saki.

“We’re not early drillers as we are tied up with herbs and potatoes in the autumn,” says Ken Goodger. “We don’t usually start sowing wheat until the end of October or beginning of November,”

The open autumn and early winter helped crops go in well and establish strongly, setting them up well for the dry season that lay ahead.

“All our wheats did very well, apart from some fields that suffered from high levels of chaff and debris the preceding harvest, which affected germination and establishment regardless of variety. That just took the shine off a bit, putting us back overall to our 10t/ha average.”

But 30ha of RGT Saki drilled in late November and early December as a first and comparable second wheat did “absolutely brilliantly”, says Ken, averaging 12.35t/ha.

“We will definitely stick with the variety. It has always looked good on farm and we get a premium for soft wheats from Whitworths via Frontier. Quality was good again this year – we got 11.88% protein, a bushel weight of 81.6kg/hl and a Hagberg of 254.

“The crop had three applications of liquid N as usual. I’m convinced this helps it hang on and put on a bit more grain fill. We used variable rates according to SOYL mapping and yields, and I’m guessing protein levels, were pretty consistent across the field.

“The variety ticks all the boxes for us, and my son will be having some too on his farm next season. It is midge resistant, a good second wheat and can be drilled early or late. It is later to ripen so spreads harvest and thrashed very well, making for an easy finish.”

A good all-rounder

Another Norfolk grower, Will More, reports excellent results with RGT Saki on medium sandy loams at Manor Farm, Tunstall near Great Yarmouth.

Much of the farm’s wheat is grown as seed for RAGT, but his 50ha of RGT Saki was grown for the feed market this harvest.

“Relative to other comparable varieties it’s a good all-rounder. We grow a lot of Group 4 barnfiller types and Saki really fits the bill in that respect,” says Will.

“We do suffer from Septoria and it’s always at the forefront of our minds, but we do tend to be fairly robust with our fungicides. We try to keep on top of everything and put the money in if we need to.”

“I think the Saki was probably overall about 0.75t/ha ahead of other varieties in the same sort of bracket. It really seems to suit the farm.

“We grew about 50ha this year and we’ll be growing a lot more of it this coming autumn. It’s a superb variety, and a great barnfiller.”

RGT Saki

• Very high-yielding Group 4 soft
• Consistent yields across seasons, regions and rotational positions
• Solid disease profile, particularly against rusts
• Highest untreated yield within soft Group 4s
• Short variety, good straw strength
• Orange wheat blossom midge resistant


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