Radiate: the seed treatment of winners
Adequate nutrition, including of micro-nutrients, a root-promoting seed treatment and bespoke fungicide programmes are the attributes that led farm manager Andrew Robinson to win the 2012 NABIM Milling Wheat Challenge.
Despite the difficult season Andrew Robinson, farms manager at Heathcote Farms, Toddington, managed to produce high-quality milling wheat.
In a year where 97% of British samples failed to fully meet the required specifications this is worthy of praise.
Part of his approach rests in appreciating the importance of giving the crop the best possible start and so includes Radiate, a complimentary seed treatment that contains ZC technology to promote auxin production and build root mass.
“We were very lucky, most of our Gallant averaged 75.6kg/hl, 13.4% protein and 265 Hagberg,” he told Farmers Weekly.
“The Solstice was similar, although its Hagberg was a bit low, at 207 seconds. Initially, I was disappointed with the harvest, but in hindsight, I'm actually pleased.”
Mr Robinson manages two farms on 930ha of heavy Hanslope clays and 218ha on lighter land. This year's rotation comprised 500ha of winter wheat, 54ha of winter barley, 365ha of winter oilseed rape and 105ha of spring beans.
“We grew Gallant, Panorama, Wizard, Invicta and Viscount; they all usually attract a premium.”
Yields are down on last year, at just over 10t/ha on lighter land and 9.1t/ha on heavy soils. “Last year we averaged more than 11.3t/ha; we do push hard for yield. And each variety is treated differently. The Panorama needed less fungicide than the Gallant, and the Group 3 and 4 varieties got less nitrogen,” he explained.
Ensuring the plant has access to appropriate and adequate nutrition begins before the seed is in the ground.
Over the past five years he has performed regular leaf tissue analysis to determine what micro-nutrients are required. During this time the crops have shown a need for extra magnesium, manganese, boron and zinc.
“We also used Radiate seed treatment, which really helped the root mass and possibly bushel weights, a very robust fungicide programme was also essential to control fusarium this year.”
Andrew Robinson’s Winning tips
- Variety-by-variety approach, such as fungicide use
- Tailored use of micro-nutrients
- Promote root mass with Radiate seed treatment
- The complete article from Farmers Weekly can be viewed by clicking here
- For more on Andrew Robinson's use of Radiate and his approach to foliar nutrition click here