Limagrain's new biscuit wheat, LG Astonomer, is available for the 2021/22 season
Limagrain’s new biscuit wheat, LG Astonomer, is available for the 2021/22 season.

LG Astronomer is an exciting new biscuit wheat that offers one of the most complete agronomic packages of any winter wheat available on the AHDB Recommend List for 2021/22, according to breeder Limgrain UK.

Achieving high yields and gaining a premium is always an attractive proposition for growers as they look to maximise their most profitable crop. And now, with the added bonus of on-farm security, LG Astronomer is said to make for a really attractive package for the coming season, the company’s Ron Granger said.

LG Astronomer offers consistency in biscuit wheat yields, with a UK wide yield of 101.1 per cent and an impressive untreated yield of 86 per cent.

“Its best performance is in the East (102 per cent) and its characteristics will suit growers in both the West and the North,” Mr Granger added.

LG Astronomer’s pedigree, of (Cougar x Leeds) x Britannia, has resulted in a variety that is tall and stiff strawed with OWBM resistance.

“Its disease resistance profile is pretty impressive, particularly for the rusts – with ratings of 9 for both brown and yellow rust, and this is supported by a very good septoria tritici rating of 7.4, raising the bar above the present commercial biscuit varieties,” Mr Granger said.

“The variety shows a flexibility in rotational positioning, that makes it really useful on farm. It’s equally as good as a second wheat or a first wheat, and in Limagrain trials, performs very well in both medium and heavy soil types – which is backed up by the AHDB RL data sets.

“Although limited data for now, we’ve found the variety to perform well in an earlier drilling slot – performing much better than many other biscuits at this time due to its superb agronomic package.

”LG Astronomer can also be sown through to mid-February, which is a really useful characteristic, considering the late drilling seasons we currently seem to be faced with,” Mr Granger added.

Grain quality is very important for a biscuit wheat, and LG Astronomer stands out with its excellent quality attributes – starting with a specific weight of 77.8kg/hl, protein content of 11.9 per cent and HFN of 238.

“This is one of the best specific weights on the RL, irrespective of the UK Wheat Millers (Nabim) Grouping,” Mr Granger said. “For this coming season, growers have the exciting option of growing a wheat variety that’ll deliver whatever the season throws at it, cope with a range of rotational positions, and also offer the added bonus of a biscuit or distilling premium.”

Highest VSR rating

Colin Lloyd of Agrii.
Colin Lloyd of Agrii.

LG Astronomer has the Highest Variety Sustainability Rating (VSR), of all of the wheats on the Agrii Advisory List 2021,” Agrii’s head of agronomy, Colin Lloyd, said. “These ratings complement the AHDB Recommended List, but with extra analyses and statistically-robust data from our extensive national and regional variety testing programme.

“There are 13 key characters that are scored including: resistance to the three main foliar diseases; lodging (both treated and untreated); orange wheat blossom midge; yield resilience and consistency; grassweed competitiveness; specific weight; and latest optimum sowing date.

“These characters are then weighted according to their importance in offering performance reliability, management flexibility and the potential for reducing pesticide use and overall cost/tonne to grow.

“So, the higher the rating the more sustainable and secure the variety,” Mr Lloyd added. “As a result of its superb agronomics, disease resistance profile and excellent specific weight, LG Astronomer deserves to hold this top position, and growers should have every confidence in the variety to deliver this coming season.”