Cereals - Choosing and managing varieties

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Factors to be considered when choosing and managing cereal varieties

Choosing and managing varieties

  • When selecting varieties, consider straw characteristics in relation to soil fertility and exposure of fields.  Take care with nitrogen applications on weaker-strawed varieties.  They are more susceptible to lodging.
  • Varieties differ in resistance to diseases.  Yields will be lower if infections are severe.  Resistant varieties need less fungicide.
  • Resistance to disease can change.  Susceptibility to mildew may increase quite rapidly in only a few years.  Inspect crops of all varieties regularly for disease infection during the growing season.
  • If minimal fungicide usage is planned, consider varieties with high untreated yields.  If you plan to use fungicides, consider varieties with a high treated yield.  Remember that the disease control measures used in our trials are designed to keep disease to a minimum regardless of cost.
  • Do not sow a large area with a new variety until you have gained some experience with it and have found it to be well suited to the conditions of your farm.
  • Careful drying is essential for oats grown for the quality or horse feed markets.  Poor drying can lead to deterioration of the grain and bitter taste.

Full results of the performance of the 49 varieties in trial in Northern Ireland in 2015.