Cereal breeder KWS launches new Norfolk trials site

James Collingwood - variety specialist for KWS in the east of England.

James Collingwood - variety specialist for KWS in the east of England. - Credit: Submitted

A major cereal and oilseed rape breeding company is expanding its activities across the east of England, including a new Norfolk trials site to explore the potential of new crop varieties.

The move by KWS includes a new regional trial site at Pulham St Mary, near Diss, and the appointment of James Collingwood as a dedicated variety specialist for the region.

KWS sales manager Bill Lankford said the plant breeder now has six trial sites in the East of England and will host open days at all of them this summer. He said: 'Our aim is to confirm key market opportunities for our new varieties and agronomic attributes that set them apart and provide real value for the Eastern Counties farmer.

'We will also be working with the trade and local agronomists to ensure they have the information they need to ensure growers quickly grasp the full potential of any new introductions.'

Mr Collingwood said new wheat varieties would need to offer a good combination of quality and yield to meet future market needs.

He said: '56pc of all wheats currently grown in the Eastern Counties are feed types and have limited market appeal. I would expect this figure will be lower in the next one to two years, with a move to those that have wider market appeal but also fill the barn.

'With great export potential out of our ports and 40pc of the UK's NABIM (National Association of British and Irish Flour Millers) affiliated mills in the region, then it makes sense to improve the quality of the grain we are producing to capture more from the market.'

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Mr Collingwood said that alongside the planned open days, KWS will host a number of meetings and variety clinics in the region to ensure the results of its trials are properly communicated.

The Open Day dates include Pulham St Mary on July 3, and Whittlesey, in Cambridgeshire, on July 6. For more information, contact James Collingwood on 01763 207300.

Are you involved in a crop trial or farm research project? Contact chris.hill@archant.co.uk.