Premium Crops has launched a “red-wheat” contract for its new nationally listed variety AC Barrie (formerly known as ADS 75) that will pay up to £118/t.

The wheat will go to Rank Hovis and selected regional millers and has the potential to replace a “significant” chunk of the 0.25m-0.5m tonnes of specialist bread-making red wheat imported annually, said the merchant’s Nigel Bazeley.

Gary Sharkey, head of wheat procurement at Rank Hovis, said: “Following commercial-scale trials we are extremely pleased with both the milling and flour processing constituents and look forward to increased supplies to our business.”

Mr Bazeley admitted the variety was more susceptible to mildew but said overall input costs were lower as it required less nitrogen and full agronomy back-up would be available.

Best results were achieved on moisture retentive medium to strong soils with yields ranging from 5-6.5t/ha and 98% of crops achieving milling specification, he added.

“We’re not marketing it as a replacement for first wheats but for people sowing from November onwards it could be a good option. It will work well in a second wheat situation where we know people have been facing challenges.”

Contracts are available directly via Premium crops or through Grainfarmers, Glencore Grain, and Masstock Arable/Dalgety. They will pay £110-£118/t depending on movement period.