Bayer debuts with strong phoma score

Part article taken from the CPM, written by Andrew Blake

Easier to manage than plenty of other varieties and particularly well suited to the country’s often fickle growing conditions.  That’s how Adrian Cottey, Bayer CropScience’s UK seeds marketing manager sums up Harper, one of four newcomers to the HGCA’s 2014/15 Recommended List for the East/West Region.

Harper is a fully restored hybrid from Bayer’s breeding programme, based in Lundsgaard, North Germany, and led by Jutta Kaiser, he explains.

“Key traits sought have been consistently high yield and especially high oil percentage, plus robust stem canker resistance and good standing power.  All have been achieved in Harper.

Easier Management

“Many of the current tranche of hybrids are quite disease susceptible, and suffer either a risk of lodging or from quite late maturity.  Harper is a much better fit for growers with overall easier management characters, and has shown itself to be very adaptable to our somewhat chaotic climate.”

Those characters include leading stem canker resistance – rated 9 by the HGCA on limited data.  Only the conventional variety Quartz (again on limited data) and the restored hybrid DK Expower – both rated 8 – come near that, most varieties scoring 6 or below.

Harper is winter tolerant, has early spring vigour, good standing power, and high oil content driving high gross output, adds Adrian Cottey.  Its fungicide-treated figure of 103 is only two points behind that of top-rated restored hybrid incentive and conventional Charger – two of the other RL newcomers.

The variety should appeal to experienced growers and those new to the crop in equal measure, believes Agrovista’s Nigel Walley.

“It’s good disease scores for both stem canker and light leaf spot enable a wider window of opportunity for fungicide application which is always useful if the weather in unfavourable or the spray contractor is delayed.

“The reason I was attracted to Harper was the fact that it possesses a good all-round agronomic profile and in particular its excellent stem canker score of 9.

“The key drivers of yield, oil content, disease resistance, standing power, earliness and vigour are all present in Harper, and although it’s early days, we’ve had very positive feedback from growers.

“While its light leaf spot score is only 5, if you dig down into the data it’s a very good 5.  There are eleven varieties that score 5 on the East/West RL, and Harper is in the top four scoring varieties within that sector.  While not a strong as some of the Northern-listed varieties on light leaf spot, it’s certainly a very good average.”

Sales last year for a variety from a breeder new to the UK were impressive, he notes.  “Early sales this season have been encouraging, and positive comments from growers should ensure Harper finds a loyal following this autumn and make some of the more established breeders in the UK sit up and take note.” ....


26 May 2014

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