Dwarf Black Angus
From my field notes: Dwarf Black Angus: 6 oz. purple beefsteaks with excellent flavor, could rival any of the great tasting purple varieties. Good production. Does not set fruit well in the heat. One plant produced GWR fruit, might not be completely stable.
From the Dwarf Project description:
Dwarf Black Angus (Cheerful family) – 80 days – Patrina Nuske Small created the Cheerful family by crossing Summertime Green with Sweet Adelaide in 2013. Craig LeHoullier selected and named Dwarf Black Angus in honor of his father in law, Harry Angus. Those responsible for additional selection and stabilization work are Denise Salmon, Dee Sackett, Robin Bort, Susan Oliverson, and Bob Franklin. Bill Minkey grew out the seed for the initial release. Regular leaf dwarf that produced very good yields of 6-12 ounce smooth oblate purple fruit with a rich, well-balanced flavor.
Patrina Nuske Small and Craig LeHoullier (co-architects of the Dwarf Tomato Project) have released this variety under the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) pledge:
“You have the freedom to use these OSSI-Pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives.”
More information can be found here.
Our thinking behind starting F1 Seed Ltd was that 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 development we could ﬁll. Wheat is very much grown as a commodity, but it is more than that – wheat varieties are contributing to genetic solutions on farm.
We have a diﬀerent philosophy and strategy to the big multinational breeders. While recognising that size often does matter in determining success, we have one advantage- that of ﬂexibility. We don’t have a large infrastructure and cost base or a long decision-making process. If needed we will make quick decisions in response to changing situations in the ﬁeld or in markets.
We have a ﬁeld-based approach to breeding – it is important to spend as much time there as possible because a breeder’s ﬁeld is an Aladdin’s cave of exciting material.
It would be good to see our varieties feature on the Recommended List in the future, but it is not the sole measure of success. We are more concerned about meeting growers’ aspirations – the views of growers are important, and consequently spend a lot of time listening to growers. The other side of the equation is that end users are the real key to a variety’s success in the marketplace – varieties need to be pulled through the market not pushed.
Looking at genetic solutions, hybrid wheat is very much the ‘Holy Grail’ of wheat breeding. It has been a challenge to get hybrid wheat to work, but we now have so many exciting technologies available that we did not have before. It has to be every wheat breeder’s objective to be able to say that they helped change the wheat world in developing hybrids.
Hybrid wheats can produce many of the key requirements for UK growers, but they can only ever be part of the genetic mix on farm. Although they produce more biomass and are more resilient than conventional wheats, they are unlikely to replace wheat in very high yielding situations. But as second wheats, and in lower input regimes, they could have a big future. Again, it is the strategic use of genetics on farm.
Spring wheats received a lot of attention last year with so much winter wheat not drilled. It is very much a Cinderella crop in terms of breeding – but it can play a really important role in black grass control. We would like to return the crop to the halcyon days when it had excellent quality. If we can get this right, we can reduce our dependency on high quality wheat imports.