Bamford: An exciting new winter wheat variety for 2024

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  • 15 May 2024

Bamford: An exciting new winter wheat variety for 2024

This year, there are a few new winter wheat varieties that have been added to the AHDB Recommended List that have caught our attention. One of them is Bamford from Elsoms Seeds. 

In this blog, Seed Grain Director Laura Beaty outlines the strengths of the variety on paper, while offering some early insight into how it is looking in the field after a very wet few months following sowing at our trials site. 

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Unmatched untreated yield 

Bamford stands out with its exceptional yield potential, boasting the highest untreated yield of any soft wheat on the 2024/25 Recommended Lists at an impressive 92%. 

An overall treated yield of 106% for the UK also makes Bamford the joint highest in that category on the Recommended List and a Northern score of 105% makes it the highest yielding soft wheat in our region. Its performance in trials over consecutive years, despite varying conditions, has underscored its reliability and resilience as a top-tier winter wheat variety and that is exactly what we have seen in our trials this winter. 

Making the most of inputs 

Efficiency is key in modern agriculture and Bamford doesn't disappoint on that front.

This variety has demonstrated impressive nitrogen use efficiency, maintaining high yields without diluting protein content. This will allow growers to get the best result from their fertiliser inputs, whilst also aligning with sustainable farming practices. 

Bamford's combined disease resistance of a 7 for yellow rust and a 6.7 for Septoria tritici underpins its impressive untreated yields, and gives us all peace of mind against a backdrop of achieving timely fungicide applications and protecting current chemistry. Additionally, it benefits from having a resistance gene to Soil Borne Wheat Mosaic Virus along with the Pch1 resistance gene to Eyespot. 

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Market opportunities 

One of Bamford's standout features is its versatility in end-market use. With a trading area stretching from the north of Yorkshire to the Highlands of Scotland, the soft biscuit and distilling wheat markets are of huge importance to us, and Bamford performs well in both categories. 

As a high quality Group 3 wheat, it produces soft flour that meets the rigorous standards of both domestic milling and export, while it has also shown to be positive for distilling, with a significant alcohol yield increase over controls. Additionally it is worth noting that it has one of the highest specific weights on the current Recommended Lists. 

Flexibility on farm 

As mentioned earlier, the last 6 months have been incredibly challenging for agriculture, with the prolonged wet weather through the autumn and winter highlighting the importance of choosing flexible varieties. 

Bamford is well-suited for both light and heavy soils and it has been given a +1 for harvest maturity, although Elsoms own data suggests that it could be earlier than this on farm, which would bring it closer in line to the Scottish market leader, LG Skyscraper. 

The variety has been shown to fit well into various rotation positions, excelling as a first and second cereal option. Sowing date becomes more critical as we come further north, and Bamford looks like it will have a suitable growing habit for early sowing - although with the anticipated popularity of this variety this summer it remains to be seen whether there will be over-yearned seed available for the early sown slot in 2025!

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Interested in Bamford? 

With its combination of yield, agronomic strength and grain quality it is clear that Bamford has raised the bar for the soft Group 3 sector, but Bamford also has what it takes to rival the best of the Group 4s as well. For us, it is one of the rare varieties that we genuinely believe offers something for everyone. 

We've been encouraged with what we've seen so far throughout this growing season at our trials site in the Scottish Borders and would love for you to join us at our annual Winter Wheat Trials Open Night on June, 17, at Mountfair Farm, Duns. 

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