Shabras shines in Frontier trials
High yield. Consistent yield. Straightforward to manage. Early maturity. And suitable for later drilling, if needed.
That is how Chris Piggott, Frontier seeds manager, sums up new hard Group four winter wheat Shabras, after evaluating its performance in two years’ of Frontier trials and on the AHDB Recommended List.
“The key feature is its high yield,” emphasises Mr Piggott. “It is consistent in all areas – east to west and north to south. And we’ve identified it as suitable for a range of soil types and climates.
“The other key characteristic is its early maturity. Historically, a lot of very high-yielding wheats have been later-maturing, so high yield with early maturity is a huge plus. Having a decent amount of time between one crop and the next gives a chance for stale seedbeds, or even drilling oilseed rape. If you choose a later-maturing variety, it doesn’t give you these options,” he adds.
Having a variety that can be drilled later also provides nice flexibility, says Mr Piggott, for example if there’s a requirement for cultural grassweed control. “We’re also seeing its suitability as a second wheat – it is high-yielding in the second cereal position on the AHDB Recommended List.”
Pointing to results from its second year in trials at Frontier’s Honingham ‘3Dthinking’ variety screen in Norfolk, a sandy clay loam site drilled on 9 September after oilseed rape, Mr Piggott says Shabras returned the second highest yield out of 45 varieties tested, including candidates.
In theory, the site could have been challenging, he admits, being in an area associated with brown rust, but Shabras still yielded over 13 t/ha.
“It’s not a very demanding variety, in terms of management. Its balance of disease resistance is good for yellow rust and Septoria tritici, which are the diseases that cause many growers most concern. This helps manage risk if timings of fungicides are not as planned due to unexpected seasonal conditions.
“It was also well above the required 72 kg/hl specific weight, and wasn’t particularly tall or weak-strawed.
“It’s an all-round variety that suits a lot of rotational positions and areas. We’re happy with its consistency,” he adds.
Shabras – highlights from Frontier variety trial, Norfolk 2017
- Yielded over 13 t/ha
- Treated specific weight of over 75 kg/hl
- Good green leaf area retention (late June)
- Low levels of mildew and rusts
- Relatively short-strawed