Pannar to Ramp up Wheat Breeding Efforts for the Western Cape Dryland Spring Wheat Market30 May 2020

By André du Toit, Wheat Breeder, Pannar Seed

Pannar has been actively breeding wheat for the dryland winter wheat planting areas of the Free State for the past 32 years. The Pannar brand is synonymous with yield performance, stability and quality for producers under dryland conditions. This legacy has continued despite the rapid decline of hectares planted in this area over the past 22 years.

The Pannar brand prides itself in offering only the best possible germplasm in three growing period classes for producers. By doing so it eliminates the guesswork in determining the best cultivar to plant when producers need to adjust their planting dates due to changes in the weather or climate. 

Dryland Production in the Free State

Pannar’s dryland package consists of true winter, winter and intermediate wheat cultivars. There are several highlights. PAN 3111 is a true winter type with excellent yield potential and has excellent standability due to its shorter straw. PAN 3161 is a true winter type and has a combination of good aluminium tolerance and Russian Wheat Aphid resistance. PAN 3161 seedlings grow vigorously and the cultivar is an excellent choice on fields with a wind risk. In the intermediate growing period, PAN 3368 is a good choice for later plantings in the central and eastern production areas of the Free State.

Irrigation Wheat

Likewise, over the past 18 years, the Pannar irrigation wheat programme has produced cultivars that are a force to be reckoned with. The package boasts high potential irrigation cultivars divided into three growing period classes: medium late, medium and medium early. The package consists of PAN 3497,  PAN 3541 and PAN 3644. PAN 3497 with its slightly longer growing period compared to PAN 3541, it is more suitable for early plantings. PAN 3644, with a quick growing period and excellent yield potential is ideal for later plantings. PAN 3541 is a new medium growing season cultivar destined as the new flagship. The Pannar package is the obvious choice for the irrigation farmer. One of the attractive aspects of Pannar’s many modern wheat cultivars is, that they require lower seeding rates to achieve the same, or even greater, grain yields than older cultivars. The latest cultivars can be planted at 75kg of seed per hectare for early plantings in June and at up to 110kg/ha for later plantings in July. This typically results in a germination density of 175 to 250 plants/m².

Above: Pannar Western Cape irrigation trial after planting this season.

Strong Focus on Western Cape

The next step in the Pannar wheat story is sharp focus on the Western Cape. The Pannar wheat team is ramping up its wheat breeding efforts for the Western Cape dryland spring wheat market. During the 2020 season, Pannar will evaluate 12 new cultivars for the Western Cape together with PAN 3471 - the current Pannar offering for this area. The main aim of these evaluations is to bring new and improved cultivars to this market quicker than before as we gain a more meaningful insight into the specific germplasm backgrounds that meet the unique requirements of the Western Cape market. The entire breeding team is raring to make an impact in this market and bring long-awaited new and diverse germplasm to the producers of wheat in this area. The Pannar brand looks forward to building on its success in the irrigation areas of South Africa to bring new meaning to yield performance, stability and quality to the Western Cape wheat producers.

Above: Pannar irrigation trial 2019.

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