Winter Biscuit Wheat


Empress is a full season winter wheat. It flowers and matures approximately the same time as Robigus. Medium to high feed/biscuit wheat sowing rates are recommended. Seed size is medium and Empress has medium to good tillering ability. As it is a full season cultivar later sowings (late May/June) will perform best in medium to heavy soils or with irrigation.

High Yields

Empress produces high relative biscuit wheat yields, 5 to 10% better than Claire in trials.

Grading Results

Empress produces good biscuit grading figures similar to Claire, with a medium to good test weight, medium to high seed weight, low screenings, medium to high falling number values and acceptable proteins.

Disease Tolerance

Empress has good tolerance to seedling and adult stripe rust, speckled leaf blotch and mildew, with moderate resistance to high leaf rust pressure, allowing low fungicide inputs to be used.

Empress is well suited to the ‘straddle fungicide’ approach. (full flag and flowering)

The later fungicide being the most important by maximizing grain fill.

BYDV Tolerance

A good autumn and early spring insecticide programme is recommended for BYDV control.

(BYDV symptoms show up during late grain fill/maturity as purple coloured heads)

Straw Strength

Empress is similar in height and strength to most winter wheats. Growth regulators are advised on all April/early May sown crops and/or where yield potential is 10 t/ha plus. Use 1.5 l/ha Cycocel + 200mls/ha Moddus at GS 30-31. (1.5 to 2 L Cycocel alone could be used in lower risk conditions)


Standard biscuit wheat nitrogen strategy is recommended. Proteins are typically 0.5% higher than Claire so the major proportion of N applications should be at GS 32. Effective late irrigation will assist grain fill, contributing to improved grading values and increased yield.


Empress is easy to harvest and consistently produces a great sample. Initial falling numbers are similar to Claire and sprout resistance is slightly better. All biscuit wheats will suffer sprout damage if exposed to sprouting conditions and should be harvested promptly to avoid potential sprouting.

Download PDF

Plant Food Research New Zealand

Ross Hanson, Plant & Food Research. 0274 535 507

Neither the seed retailer or Plant & Food Research shall be liable for any loss, damage or injury howsoever suffered directly or indirectly in relation to the above information. No endorsement of named products or criticism of unnamed products is intended.