A High Yielding Premium Bread Wheat
Sowing Date Flexibility – Late April to early spring
Duchess is a medium maturing facultative wheat (needs no cold vernalization). Flowering date is 2-3 days later than Conquest. It is well suited to sowings from very mid April in both dryland and irrigated conditions through to early spring, although the optimum sowing window is late April to mid August in Canterbury.
Medium bread wheat sowing rates are recommended (seed size is similar to Conquest and it has medium to good tillering ability). Shoot emergence length will be shorter than most wheat cultivars, so take care not to sow too deep (3-4 cm)
High Yields – up to 10 % above Conquest
Duchess yields are usually 10% above Conquest, especially from autumn sowing.
While all cereals need adequate fertility and soil moisture to achieve their yield potential, Duchess responds well to both irrigated and dry conditions.
Consistent Grading Results
It has very good resistance to sprouting and also produces high initial falling number values, slightly lower than Conquest. It has high proteins and it consistently produces good values for test weight and screenings. Seed size is consistently within the 40-44g/1000 range.
Good Disease Resistance
Duchess has good tolerance to seedling and adult stripe rust and, moderate tolerance to mildew and BYDV and is susceptibility to leaf rust, allowing medium fungicide inputs to be used on Duchess crops, but they should always be monitored for susceptibility to new races of diseases. Fungicide trials indicate that good flag leaf and ear wash fungicides are sufficient in most mid-late May sown crops. Earlier sown crops may respond to a fungicide around 1st node in some seasons. It has moderate BYDV tolerance so above average aphid control is recommended.
Good Straw Strength
Duchess is slightly shorter than Conquest with very good straw strength, but growth regulators are advised on all early (April/May) sown crops and where yield potential is 8 t/ha plus. Use 1.25 l/ha Cycocel + 200mls/ha Moddus at GS 30-31 (32 if missed). 1.5 – 2 L Cycocel alone could be used in lower risk conditions.
Timing is more critical for facultative wheats and will be slightly earlier in spring than for winter wheats as development will be earlier and all growth stages will have shorter intervals. Protein levels are usually high, so yield should be the primary nitrogen management focus.
Approximately 25-30 kg’s of N/t of yield are required from the soil or sack for bread wheats.
Duchess has high initial falling numbers and good resistance to sprouting with medium to good shedding resistance. The grain is held tightly within the glume so slightly more whiteheads than normal are observed. Adjust header for best thrashing results
Andy Hay, Plant & Food Research. 027 242 4827
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