Trials demonstrate value of BYDV resistance in winter wheat

Publish on February 16, 2024
Reading time : < 1 min
Here at RAGT Seeds UK, we’ve been running trials to assess the effects of barley yellow dwarf virus on a range of winter wheats at our breeding station at Ickleton, near Cambridge.

Our two-replicate trial in 2023 put 28 different varieties to the test, seven of which were resistant to BYDV. Plots received commercial on-farm inputs – a full fungicide programme, growth regulators and standard nitrogen applications.

However, the trial did not receive any insecticide whatsoever, meeting the criteria of the no-insecticide SFI option.

The aim of this trial was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the BYDV resistance in our Genserus varieties, even under intense pressure from the disease, and to show the resulting yield advantages over non-resistant varieties under these conditions.

Figure 2.

In this trial RGT Grouse, RAGT’s current commercial Group 4-type Genserus variety, outyielded Champion by 8.3%. With this yield increase, at a grain price of £180/t, growers could expect to earn £173/ha more by growing RGT Grouse compared with Champion without insecticide. In addition, the SFI scheme offers £45/ha for growing a crop without any insecticide.

Figure 3

RGT Goldfinch, a Genserus variety with bread-making potential, has resistance to both BYDV and orange wheat blossom midge. In the absence of insecticide and under BYDV pressure we can see a yield difference of 14% compared with KWS Extase and 11% compared with Skyfall (figure 3). RGT Goldfinch is the first quality wheat with this double resistance, making insecticide-free wheat production for the human food chain a realistic proposition for many growers.

Figure 4

Figure 4 displays all the varieties of the trial and shows the distinct difference between the Genserus varieties (yellow bars) and non-resistant varieties when confronted with the disease.

We are repeating this trial again this year, with sequential infection to observe different reactions between spring infection, autumn infection, and both.

If you would like to visit it in the spring season please do contact us via the Contact page on our website.

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