UK: Growers already considering early drilling of wheat

(Farmer's Guardian) -- THE majority of UK wheat growers are considering an early September start to drilling this autumn to ease their workload and reduce weather risk, according to the latest management study conducted by wheat breeder, RAGT Seeds.

The study, involving nearly 350 arable enterprises with over 120,000 hectares of wheat currently in the ground, shows more than half seriously considering early September drilling.

“Easing autumn workload pressures is the main reason behind growers’ enthusiasm for an earlier than normal start to wheat drilling,” said study co-ordinator, Chris Black.

“Many growers have much larger areas of winter cereals to be established with limited labour and machinery these days. They are also having to get used to increasingly uncertain autumn weather. Under these circumstances, it really isn’t surprising that an early start to drilling is becoming a management consideration.”

Good standing ability, good disease resistance and a relatively slow speed of development stood out as key characteristics that growers are seeking in varieties for early September drilling