What is Hybrid Wheat?
Hybrid Wheat is a cross between two, carefully selected, pure lines. Each hybrid variety therefore has genes from both parent varieties.
The hybrid vigour or heterosis achieved by crossing two distinct varieties is expressed as the plant grows. Benefits common to hybrid wheat varieties include:
More developed root system
Rapid plant establishment
Resistance to stress – cold, drought, waterlogging
Good disease resistance
Improved performance on marginal sites
Even plant establishment
The increased root mass, larger plant stem and thicker stem wall also gives improved standing ability.
All of this adds up to improvements in consistency of yield when compared to conventional varieties.
Below farmers talk about the benefits of growing Hybrid Wheat in the UK. More clips on the development and use of hybrid wheat can be seen in the Downloads area (click on “Downloads” at the top of this page).
Hybrid Wheat in the UK
UK farmers have found Hybrid Wheat to be ideal for late drilling, aiding effective blackgrass control strategies without resorting to spring sown crops.
On light land and under dry conditions Hybrid Wheat has consistently lifted whole farm averages. On challenging sites that usually average less than 9 t/ha (including sandy, drought-prone soils in East Anglia, high altitude plots in the Yorkshire Wolds and Cotswold brash) Hybrid Wheat varieties have exceeded 14 tonnes per hectare. Even December drilled plots of Hybrid Wheat have produced over 9.5 t/ha on Suffolk sand.
Seed rates can be reduced by 30% compared to conventional varieties. Seed is coated in a special polymer to improve seed treatment coverage, grain flow in the drill and enable seeds to be tracked in the furrow.
Hybrid Wheat varieties available in the UK include:
Very early maturity with excellent disease resistance. Suitable alternative to winter barley, spreading the harvest workload.
A very early maturing hybrid with very high yield. Yielding well as a 2nd wheat this is a medium hard textured feed wheat providing ideal early entry for sowing winter OSR.
Medium early maturing soft textured wheat variety mostly grown in Scotland and Northern England. Very suitable for early drilling.
Medium maturity and very high yield. The first HW to display resistance to OWBM. Excellent all-round disease resistance. Medium soft textured feed wheat quality.
Very high yield and resistance to OWBM.