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Crop Research News

HGCA technical information delivered straight to your inbox

AHDB Chief Scientist: crop protection a "top list" priority

"In terms of priority, crop protection must be near the top of the is essential that all involved in crop protection are aware of the full breadth of opportunity presented by crop science technology so that robust and durable integrated crop protection approaches can be developed"

Professor Ian Crute, AHDB Chief Scientist, has prepared an article that outlines the challenges and opportunities for crop protection that will be discussed at the AHDB Crop Research Conference.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre London

To read the article or to find out more about the conference, visit the dedicated conference web page.

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Shedding new light on specific weight

New analysis of HGCA data has shown late ripening wheat varieties tend to have lower specific weights but higher yields. The work suggests that growers should consider growing wheat with a range of maturities to help achieve consistent yield and quality each season.

The research, prompted by the quality of last year’s harvest, looked at data from 1994 to 2012 from Recommended List trials and the AHDB/HGCA Cereal Quality Survey.

For analysis of how weather, varietal traits and region can affect specific weight, download the full report (PR515) or view the press release.

To help better understand how weather influences crop development, HGCA has set up a network of weather stations (Project 3802). More information on regional and varietal differences will also come out of HGCA’s Cropping Systems Platform project which will have four UK sites for the 2013/2014 growing season.

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Free fatty acids report online

High levels of free fatty acids (FFA) make oil unsuitable for human consumption and can also cause foaming in biofuels.

Although weather was a major factor in the increase of FFA in 2012, there are a number of practical steps oilseed rape growers can take to minimise the risk based on timeliness of harvest and drying temperature.

These were identified after an HGCA survey of agronomic practices influencing FFA content in oilseed rape during the 2011-2012 season, the steps are outlined in HGCA Project Report 514.

HGCA plans to continue investigating FFAs for a further two years to increase understanding of the issue.

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Fusarium langsethiae infection in UK cereals

A new report (Student Report 23) contains novel information on Fusarium langsethiae in cereals.

Conducted at Harper Adams University, the research has radically improved understanding of the epidemiology and life-cycle of Fusarium langsethiae which will aid the development of control strategies to minimize T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxin content in cereals.

The report includes a generalised life-cycle for F. langsethiae which deviates from that of the other Fusarium species on small grain cereals due to its early head infection and inability to cause stem-base infection.

The report also contains information on varietal resistance and disease transmission.

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Pre-harvest glyphosate application to wheat and barley

Where wheat and barley crops have produced secondary tillers and where there are weed infestations, there is potential for harvest difficulties. The use of pre-harvest glyphosate may be required as a harvest aid in these situations. Not all cereal crops can be treated pre-harvest as some end-users impose restrictions. Do not apply glyphosate where a significant proportion of grain is over 30% moisture content and do not treat crops being grown for seed. Read more.

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Monitor crops for verticillium wilt

Recent HGCA work identified that crops affected by verticillium wilt were most prevalent in parts of eastern England, though some crops were affected as far north as Yorkshire. Yield loss can occur when more than half the stem circumference is affected and plants are ripening prematurely.


  • Monitor oilseed rape crops pre-harvest and determine levels of verticillium wilt.
  • If verticillium wilt is established, consider variety choice and be prepared to extend rotations.
  • Do not use seed from crops with verticillium wilt.

For information on symptoms and other information, click here.

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Plant samples required for saddle gall midge study

HGCA is funding research to help improve understanding and control of saddle gall midge (Project 3806).

Led by ADAS, part of this research involves making assessments of the impact of saddle gall midge on yield. 

Close to harvest, the researchers are looking to collect 50 midge infested and uninfested plants from both wheat and barley.

The samples will be used to assess the number of attacked tillers, galls/tiller, ears/plant, grains/ear and yield/tiller.

ADAS would like to hear from anyone who has had crops attacked by saddle gall midge this season and would be happy for a sample to be collected.

If you are interested, please contact Steve Ellis at ADAS High Mowthorpe on 01944 738 646 or email

For further information on the biology and control of saddle gall midge, click here.

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Missed the RL wheat tour at Cereals 2013?

Watch highlights from the Recommended List wheat variety tour:

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Latest reports

GB crop area estimates

AHDB/HGCA have released estimates of GB crop areas for the 2013 harvest. In brief, wheat is 19% lower than 2012 at 1.61M Ha, total barley is 26% higher at 1.23M Ha and oilseed rape is 9% lower at 686K Ha.

Click here for further information or see this week's Prospects.

Prepare stores

With Harvest 2013 now beginning, time to prepare stores for intake is running out.

The HGCA grain storage guide is a one-stop shop for good grain storage practice and contains information on store preparation (Pages 8-9).

Alternatively, why not take a look at the HGCA Grain storage and sampling pages which contain sections on:

  • Grain store management
  • Sampling grain effectively (new guide coming soon)
  • Storage pests
  • Drying and cooling
  • Mycotoxin risks
  • CIPC residues
  • Links to further information

Get Harvest Results sent to your inbox

Interested in receiving up-to-date information from the Recommended Lists variety trials?

Then sign up to receive Harvest Results by email. To register, email

Harvest Toolkit

mycotoxins Mycotoxin risk assessment
passport Grain passport
grain storage guide Grain storage guide
grain sampling Grain sampling guidelines
grain Grain sampling worksheet 
calculator Safe storage time calculator
checklist Cereal seller's checklist
checklist Oilseed seller's checklist
wheat prices Latest market news and prices
wheat prices Harvest Results


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