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Rougham Innovation Centre – Here’s What You Will Be Missing At Our Open Day!

Innovation Centres

Now that our Innovation Centre Open Days are now webinars and based on different topics, here’s an update on what would have been demonstrated at Rougham.

Georgie Wood, Field Technical Manager for Rougham Innovation Centre, said ‘I think this is the best Rougham has looked in a long time!’ Not what you want to hear when you can’t visit!

There is very little disease in the plots this season, but the same goes for the rest of the country too. Yellow rust is the predominant disease and there is still some in the plots, even after some fungicide programmes. Only to be expected with the weather conditions we had at the end of May/beginning of June.  Some colonies of aphids seen too. Now that we’ve had some rain, this may encourage more disease, especially Septoria.

We have winter wheat variety screens, looking at when yellow rust first appears in which variety. Varieties in the screen include: Reflection, Crusoe, Shabras, Gleam, Graham, Extase, Kerrin, Gravity, Siskin, SY Insitor. The yellow rust has certainly taken its toll on Reflection (no surprise there!),

In the winter barley fungicide trial plots and the barley variety screens there is very little disease to pick out any differences, so we will wait for the yield results. Keep your eyes and ears open for an end of season report!

In another trial, we are looking at alternative end markets for hybrid barley. As you will be aware, Syngenta hybrid barleys are grown for feed, but if growers decide that the crop is not going to reach the yield they are expecting, the barley can be whole cropped for a digestor. We have been comparing hybrid barley to rye, and found that the gas yields are equal to rye, so a good option and flexibility for end markets.

Plot at Rougham Innovation Centre

We have been looking at different drill timings for winter hybrid barley vs. a 6-row barley (Amistar). Firstly, for BYDV and whether drilling later meant that the aphids would not migrate into the crop. Secondly, to see which timing better fairs the weather, diseases, pests and gives the greatest yield. Due to the weather conditions everyone endured over the autumn/winter, the drillings were even later than we would have liked. One was drilled on 23 October and the second on 20 November. The later drilled crop is looking very open, but let’s see how they fair when it comes to yield!

Could this next trial be the largest for fungicide programmes in the UK? We have 8 different programmes in 12 different winter wheat varieties. These programmes are demonstrating different strategies e.g. targeting early or later yellow rust or brown rust, using the best programme available for Septoria, including some of the new chemistry available this year. There are some very interesting differences in the approaches and in the Dunston you can certainly see the benefit of a strong rust product with a long persistency, such as Elatus Era this season.

Now we have registration for Vibrance Duo in barley, there are several trials comparing different seed treatments and their ability to control loose smut – at present Vibrance Duo is looking very effective, even in a high pressure, infected seed situation.

The 2019/2020 season has thrown everything at us. We struggled to get crops drilled on many of our sites, so decided to drill Skyfall winter wheat late and compare with spring wheat.  The crops were drilled on 26 March 2020, while the Skyfall is extremely short (8-10 inches tall) it is now in boot, but you’d have to set the combine very low to cut it! The spring wheat has been very vigorous and is growing as spring wheat should.

Looking to the future and at alternative spring crops, (in case we get another autumn like 2019) we drilled some oats, linseed and beans on the 26 March, all of which are looking good with bumblebees flourishing in the linseed and beans.

That’s all for now from Rougham, but do join us on one of our virtual webinars. To register go to

Rougham Innovation Centre July 2020