Winter barley yields are sharply higher this summer, showing levels nearly 18% above a five-year average, according to the latest independent trials.
Good growing weather and bumper yields from six-row barley varieties have pushed yields ahead by more than 1.5t/ha.
Average yields sit at 11.12t/ha compared with a five-year average of 9.46t/ha, according to seven AHDB Recommended List sites in England.
“The weather seems to have suited winter barley well this season, with the six-row varieties doing particularly well,” AHDB’s variety expert Simon Oxley tells Farmers Weekly.
The early results are showing high yields from fungicide-treated trials and also untreated trials across all varieties in a generally low disease year.
Latest results for sites located in Cheshire, Herefordshire and Norfolk have been added to earlier results from sites at Teesside, Lincolnshire, Suffolk and Hampshire.
Six-row hybrid varieties are achieving the highest yields with Volume at 107%, and two candidate varieties Bazooka (110%) and Belfry (108%).
Conventional six-row varieties are also performing well with Meridian at 106% and Daxor at 101%, and candidate variety Verity (104%).
Glacier, Infinity, Tower and Cavalier lead the two-row yields of current varieties at 101%. Candidates are also performing well with Kathmandu at 102% and Orwell at 101%.
Untreated fungicide results from the three trials show strong average yields at 10.03t/ha, with Meridian the top of the RL varieties (111%), while the candidates Belfry (114%), Bazooka (110%) and Verity (106%) performed well.
Good specific weights are being seen with two-row varieties Cavalier (72.6kg/hl), Glacier (72.2kg/hl) and Cassia (71.9kg/hl), while six-row hybrids saw good results – Volume (69.7kg/hl), Bazooka (70.1kg/hl) and Belfry (69.5kg/hl).
Among the brewing varieties Talisman showed a yield of 95% and Venture 92% with specific weights of 70.2kg/hl and 72.4kg/hl.
Growers are advised by the AHDB to look at five-year averages when selecting varieties for this season with two-row varieties such as Infinity (102%), Glacier (101%) and Tower (101%) performing well.