Red Wheat Agronomy & Varieties
Faller and Infinity
Anywhere in England.
Few limitations. Red Wheat prefers moisture retentive land. It is not suited to drought prone sands. It does however like black soils.
Red Wheat needs a firm seed bed which means min-till or direct drilling are ideal.
Typical target plant population is around 300 - 350 plants per sq. metre, which calculates to a sowing rate of 150 - 200 kg/ha depending on sowing date and TGW. Note: Red wheats produce a small berry - the TGW can be as low as 30gm
March through April. The highest and most consistent yields have come from late March sowings. April sowings are common
P, K & Mg apply as for other Cereals and depending on soil indices - please ensure soil levels are adequate.
The crop requires 25 kg/hectare of Nitrogen per tonne/hectare of yield, so a 5.0 – 6.0 tonne/hectare crop requires 125 – 150 kg/hectare of Nitrogen in total. Remember to account for Soil Mineral Nitrogen (SMN) in the calculation. Generally the applied Nitrogen is likely to be between 100 and 145 kg/hectare.
Generally Red wheats do not need extra Nitrogen to achieve the 15% protein required by the contract. There are exceptions and if in doubt an extra 25 kg/ha Nitrogen will help ensure the contract Protein requirements are met. We would suggest this in the West of the country where most lower protein issues have occurred.
Much of the UK is now deficient from Sulphur. The worst deficiencies are on lighter soils - this will be exacerbated by Winter rainfall . If you are in a deficient situation apply 25 – 50 kg/ha Sulphur (as Sulphate SO3).
As for conventional wheat.
Red Wheats are generally very weak on Mildew and Yellow Rust, so an early intervention to start the protective programme is required for Autumn sown crops (T0). This will ensure that crops reach T1 timing (late March) in good order and allow crops to 'start clean'. Spring sown crops without a Tripod seed treatment will need to commence the fungicide program when the crop has 3 leaves. The aim is to keep disease, especially Mildew and Yellow Rust out of the crop from day one.
Red Wheat varieties have proven resistance to head blight.
Red wheats require a full growth regulator program.
If the pH of your fields growing Red wheat lie above or below pH 6-7, foliar feeding with appropriate nutrients could be beneficial.
Red wheats are very early harvesting varieties. They would normally be approximately 2 weeks earlier to harvest than a comparable conventional Spring wheat
The usual Cereals set up is OK for Red wheats. The terminal floret can be hard to thrash, so the combine has to be set aggressively to achieve a clean sample (de-awning plates may need to engaged).
Likely range 3.0 - 5.5 t/ha depending on the variety and soil type
Moisture Meters and Red Wheat
Red wheats are HARD milling Wheats, so moisture meters usually used for SOFT Wheat will often be inaccurate. For example, a Protimeter setup for soft Wheat reads 0.7% high. This can cause problems at the mill intake. Check with your moisture meter manufacturer to ensure you have the current calibration for testing hard Red Wheat to avoid problems.
All Spring wheats are susceptible to Egot. However, Red Wheats are very early, "closed" flowering varieties which does mean they are less susceptible than most Spring wheat. However, in some years, many samples can be contaminated with Ergot. The advent of mobile "Colour Sorting" machines has meant that egot removal is now quick (circa 10 -20mt/hour) and good value (£10 -12/mt). The added benefit is that losses are very low (1-4%) compared with gravity separation and very thorough.
Did you know?
Flour from hard red wheat is considered "classic" whole wheat. While other varieties of wheat can be made into "whole wheat flour" this is the flour that gives bread a rich brown colour and a nutty wheat flavour.
All growers and their agronomist are sent technical bulletins with more detailed agronomy information throughout the growing season.
Our technical team is always on hand to answer any queries.