RGT Bairstow doing well ‘in every situation’
He increased his area of RGT Bairstow to 28ha this season, following the variety’s exceptional performance in 2022 across a 6ha block.
The farm’s key focus is on herbs and potatoes in the autumn, so all wheats are later drilled. “We drilled the Bairstow in late October and early November, and it really has done well in every situation,” says Ken. “We all commented on how nice the sample looked, it was very clean and bold.”
While output was a bit lower this harvest, following the general trend, the variety again delivered the farm’s top yield.
“As a first wheat Bairstow has done remarkably well – it averaged over 10t/ha,” Ken says, who adds the better yields came from his heavier fen skirt soils.
Grain test results show a specific weight of 77.5kg/hl, protein content at 11.35% and a Hagberg of 217. Ken has been offered a £15/t soft wheat premium over feed into a local mill for the end of August and £10t/ha premium beyond that.
Ken also grew 40ha of RGT Saki, as a first and second wheat. First wheat followed chamomile or winter barley, after the latter it was more variable, but overall yields were above 9t/ha.
Good quality – 75-76kg/hl/12-13%/270 – secured the same premiums as the Bairstow. “I like RGT Saki, it has done well as a second wheat and better than our second wheats last year. We’ll be growing both these varieties again – that really is no-brainer for us.”
Ken’s patience to cut at lower moisture content has paid off. “We cut herbs in the morning and then go off to harvest the cereals in the afternoon. We have a high capacity combine and we’ve only had a couple of loads of what I would call wet wheat.”
Although his neighbours had a lot of septoria pressure, it was not an issue for Ken. “We normally get a bit of yellow rust, but the RAGT varieties were pretty resistant to that – our disease levels were fairly low.”