The winter wheat variety Crusoe has been impressing growers due to its quality and disease resistance, according to its breeder Limagrain UK.

Despite the poor harvest seen last summer, Crusoe grower Clive Wreathall, from Chapel Farm, combined a bumper crop of the wheat variety on his farm in south-west Kent, which is grown on contract for Warburtons.

Limagrain said the new variety outperformed other well-established bread wheats on his farm, such as Solstice and Cordiale, with a yield of 11.2t/ha. It achieved protein levels of 14%, a specific weight of 80-82kg/hl and a high Hagberg to meet Warburtons 225 minimum, and sold his crop at Christmas for £244/t.

Wreathall said: “On present form, Crusoe looks like being a successor to Solstice and looks like the kind of wheat we want to grow.”

He added that the wheat produced a quality crop in a tough year, had good septoria disease resistance, and stiff straw, which was easy to combine.

Limagrain UK said it had been working with Warburtons and its supplier, the British farming co-operative Openfield, from an early stage to establish the variety’s breadmaking credentials.

Tudor Dawkins, technical manager at Openfield for Warburtons growers, said the variety can be grown as a first or second wheat, with a yield and protein content ahead of Solstice and another breadmaker Gallant.

Its disease resistance is especially strong against yellow rust and mildew, while it has the highest resistance on the HGCA Recommended List with a score of 7 compared with a 5 for Solstice and Gallant, he added.