New varieties with new possibilities


Summer of 2008 saw more Field Days and seminars on issues of plant-cultivation development than usual. All companies strove to show off their new equipment, technology and varieties. EkoNiva also demonstrated its new items on Russian Field Day in Belgorod, and Field Day in Kursk, Tula and Kirov.

By Villi DREVS, Doctor of Agronomy, plant-cultivation consultant.

Along with new equipment - new, powerful rotor combines, John Deere tractors from the 500 to 900 series, self-propelled sprayers and other equipment - agronomists paid special attention to the demonstration plots with new varieties of winter and spring crops.

Like last year, we demonstrated success in winter barley technology. The variety Cinderella for the second year has been undergoing state testing, and for the second year it has continued to surprise Russian agronomists with high yields. This year EkoNiva presented a new variety of winter barley, Highlight, from the German firm DSV. This variety of six-row fodder barley is most notable for its stronger ear and higher mass per 1,000 seeds. What is different about cultivation winter barley as compared to winter wheat?

The early sowing period is a result of the need for good autumn bushing out of barley. Along with the main stem, before winter there should be no less than 3-4 side shoots. For this the sum of effective temperatures in the autumn period should be 4500 С. In the conditions of the Chernozemye, the sowing period from 1 through 3 September turned out to be ideal.

Good predecessors for winter barley are complete or sown fallow, leguminous plants, and rapeseed. Because of the early sowing period, special attention must be paid to fighting pests and carriers of viral diseases (cicadas) in the autumn period. A main food crop is winter wheat, represented, along with the already familiar varieties Lars (entered in the Register of Russia since 2004) and Akteur (undergoing State testing), by the new variety Samurai. Samurai amazed all of the Field Day visitors with its short straw, strong ear and resistance to falling. Samurai is a high-yield variety and has an exceptionally high starch content, which promotes its use for bio-ethanol production and fodder purposes.

After harsh winter conditions in 2008, the harvested acreage of winter rapeseed was significantly reduced. For this reason the search for new winter-resistant varieties of this crop remains a pertinent topic at EkoNiva.

Of winter rapeseed varieties, along with Lirajet and Libea, which are offered by EkoNiva, the company promoted the entry of the new variety Livius into the Register of Russia in 2008.

Livius is a mid-early variety with a high yield combined with high oil content. Like hybrids, it is notable for its fast growth in the beginning stage of development. Livius is a short-stemmed variety and therefore is very resistant to falling and bursting.