Angus Wheat Consultants Ltd (AWC), headed by wheat breeder Bill Angus, has launched a completely new web site to highlight the range of its breeding programmes – currently focused on winter and spring wheat and oats, as well as the company’s background and objectives.
Bill Angus comments: “We felt that it was important for wheat breeding to have a strong UK-owned breeder in the marketplace, and we could see gaps in wheat variety development we could ﬁll. A core objective is to increase wheat yields on-farm while maintaining quality and optimising inputs.
“Cereals are at the heart of our breeding programmes with winter wheats Mv Fredericia and Garibaldi the first two varieties launched under our F1 Seeds banner.
“Mv Fredericia exempliﬁes part of our philosophy. We could see the variety playing a strategic role on farm with its competitive strength in black grass control. In addition, its quality proﬁle made it an attractive variety for a major end user.
“Garibaldi had been very consistent in the challenging year of 2020, topping the NL2 trials until a late January trial was thrown into the trials evaluation mix, and although it did not make it as a candidate for the Recommended List, a number of growers and merchants across the country are looking at it compared to their own choices. And this is the real test of a variety – performance on farm.
“For the future, our winter wheat breeding programme is now mature with a comprehensive set of selection nurseries and trials at our main site in Suffolk, as well as in other key UK cereal growing regions.”
The new AWC web site also features the company’s Global Oats (UK) Ltd breeding programme which came about as a result of Bill Angus meeting with a former colleague in the South Island of New Zealand who had decided to set up his own breeding programme called Global Oats (NZ) Ltd. They agreed to collaborate and work on new oat varieties for both the southern and northern hemispheres.
The potential for oats in the UK is deﬁnitely there when we put good inputs into the crop, notes Bill. Oats are seen by many as a low input crop, but this is not so – it is a crop which responds to good agronomy. With a targeted input strategy, yield and quality can be realised.
As with wheat, the oat breeding programme is well under way with varieties currently in the National List system as the company enters higher yielding and better quality varieties.
Looking into the future, Bill comments whilst there are still some uncertainties over Brexit and how the market will look in the future, the UK has some of the best growers, the best environment and some of the most competitive wheat breeders in the World. There is no doubt that the UK breeding community will rise to the challenge and bring in a range of genetics to meet both growers and end user needs.
“As an independent British owned company we have grown quickly and have built the facilities you would expect from a leading-edge breeder. For the future, we will continue to invest and develop a strong British brand,” adds Bill Angus.