Combining wheat© Tim Scrivener

Selecting the best variety for your farm is set to become easier with a new online tool using regional HGCA variety trial data.

With more than 40 winter wheat and 35 oilseed rape varieties alone, selecting the right variety can prove difficult.

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In addition, HGCA Recommended Lists surveys revealed that growers wanted more regional variety performance information, explained HGCA research manager Ellie Marshall.

This prompted the HGCA to develop the variety selection tool, which lets growers navigate the latest variety trials data and make comparisons – based on location – to help them identify the most promising varieties for their farm.

The first version of the tool is based on winter wheat trials data. Accessible through an online “dashboard”, it allows farmers to select from a range of parameters to see what impact they have on yields.

By selecting geographical location, rotational position, soil type or sowing date, the tool visualises trials data in chart format for easy variety comparison.

She added: “Not only does the tool let growers look at variety trial information in a totally new way, it allows a new tier of trials information to be accessed – including ‘district-level’ information.”

Districts are based on the UK regional climates, as defined by the Met Office, which describe the general climate in that area.

Later this year, the tool will be extended to include quality parameters, as well as dashboards for winter barley, winter oilseed rape, winter oats and spring barley.

The variety selection tool sits alongside HGCA’s regional disease monitoring and weather monitoring tools.