Andrew Blenkiron's barley harvest at Euston estate © David Jones© David Jones

Spring barley is more than half a tonne down on the five-year average, reflecting the challenging season for spring cropping.

AHDB Recommended List (RL) trial harvest results show that this year’s spring barley control plots yielded 7.22t/ha compared with the five-year average of 7.72t/ha.

Farmers have also seen lower spring barley yields, with the dry conditions at drilling along with the tricky harvest being blamed. 

See also: Harvest 2017: The 5 top-yielding spring barley varieties

The last of the spring barley RL harvest results were published yesterday (10 October), revealing that some varieties bucked the trend, delivering up to 7% more than the control varieties.

Candidate variety Diablo tops the variety pecking order at 107% of the controls for 2017 harvest. The Limagrain variety is currently undergoing malting trials.

A clutch of five other varieties yielded 105% in 2017, including fellow Limagrain candidate Tomahawk, RAGT’s candidate Asteroid along with the already recommended varieties Planet, Sienna and Laureate.

See also: Healthy profit from spring oilseed rape despite poor season

The spring barley results also varied widely between sites, with the control varieties at East Malling in Kent averaging only 4.62t/ha, while St Boswells in the Scottish borders was nearly 5t/ha higher at 9.46t/ha.

For the other crops, the final results for winter wheat and winter barley were close to the five-year average and oilseed rape was just below the four-year average.