Know How / Barley / Variety selection

With spring barley on the up, more specialist buy-back contracts available than before and rapid plant breeding progress, barley variety choice is more complex than ever. See how old and new varieties have been performing, how to manage them and what the latest additions have to offer.

Case studies

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Virus-tolerant barleys could offer insecticide-free future

Virus-tolerant winter barley varieties could be the way forward to avoid spraying insecticides in the autumn, but there are some doubts about whether these varieties give good enough yields and…


Scots barley growers work together to supply one distillery

A group of Scottish malting barley growers is banding together to supply the needs of one malt whisky distillery to put them in a good position if the scotch cycle…


Farmer uses own field trial to find optimum nitrogen rate

Thomas Todd is using his own field trials on his farm to give him the optimum nitrogen fertiliser rate for his malting spring barley and the best septoria disease control…


How Norfolk farm grows malting barley for well-known brewer

Growing malting barley for a nearby brewery can make sense as it secures a fixed market and premium price rather than having to rely on the uncertainties of the open…


Barley growers find secure market with grain for distilling

An expanding band of barley growers in southern England is producing low-nitrogen grain destined for the spirits market and earning themselves a useful price premium. Having a secure domestic market…


Lincs grower uses seaweed to hit malting barley grade

Marcus Palmer is using cover crops and seaweed bio-stimulants to grow high yields of low-grain nitrogen barley in what many would consider non-traditional malting barley territory. The fertile silt lands…

Practical advice

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What the new winter malting barley variety offers to growers

Winter barley growers have a wider choice of malting varieties to choose from this autumn, with a new variety offering higher yields and earlier maturity than the mainstay Craft. Electrum,…


Skyfall wheat comes out top in variety sustainability index

Old favourite Skyfall comes out as the top winter wheat variety on a sustainability rating scale looking across a range of desirable characteristics for growers. Agronomy group Agrii has created…


Tips on which winter barley varieties to drill this autumn

Winter barley variety choice continues to expand, with growers having 24 recommended varieties to pick from, spread across three end-use groups – two-row malting, two-row feed and six-row feed. Starting…


How to get undrilled fields back on track after wet winter

Time has nearly run out for drilling winter wheat crops, leaving farmers to decide which spring crop to grow or even whether to fallow areas that remain undrilled after one…


Tips on picking the right winter barley variety

Winter barley growers are spoilt for choice this autumn, with the largest range of varieties on the AHDB Recommended List for some years. Of the 24 varieties, there are a…


Expert pointers on winter barley variety choices

Winter barley has fallen out of favour on many British farms in recent years due to a combination of its unattractive gross margins and farmers turning to spring cropping to…


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Analysis: Cost of extreme weather on 2020 crop performance

The weather extremes in the hugely difficult 2019-20 cropping season provided a unique test of crop performance, with some new winter wheat varieties showing promise. From some of the wettest…


Harvest 2020: The 5 top-yielding spring barley varieties map

Throughout the harvest season, we are updating our handy map with the latest data from 2020’s AHDB wheat Recommended List harvest results. Use the map below to find the five…


How growers will benefit from AHDB's new variety tool

The new AHDB Recommended List online tool provides growers with an interactive way to sift through the many varieties and identify the most suitable cultivars for their farm. Picking which…


Why spring barley growers are switching to Diablo

A dual-purpose spring barley variety with very high yields is tipped for success in 2020, having almost completed its probation period with end users. LG Diablo, which was first recommended…


Variety verdict: How Recommended List additions aid growers

Four new high-yielding oilseed rape varieties have come in at the top of the Recommended List for the UK, as Limagrain’s breeding programme comes to fruition. Six out of the…


Cereal varieties: Winners and losers at harvest 2018

During the 2018 cereal harvest, wheat varieties were more likely to perform slightly below their long-term averages than to exceed yield expectations.  That’s why most of the 2018 results shouldn’t…


Harvest 2018: The 5 top-yielding winter barley varieties

Throughout the harvest season we are updating our handy map with the latest data from 2018’s AHDB winter barley Recommended List harvest results. Use the map below to find the…


Harvest 2017: The 5 top-yielding spring barley varieties

Throughout the harvest season we’ll be updating this handy map with the latest data from this year’s AHDB spring barley recommended list 2017 harvest results. Use the map below to find…


Harvest 2017: The 5 top-yielding winter barley varieties

Throughout the harvest season we are updating this handy map with the latest data from 2017’s AHDB winter barley Recommended List harvest results. Use the map below to find the…


How winter cropping gross margins stack up for 2017/18

Harvest is underway in some parts of the country, but for most there are still a few weeks to go before the really busy season begins. Now is an opportune time…


Analysis: What the new recommended varieties offer growers

Seed trade experts picked out the possible winners from the wide array of 29 new cereal and oilseed rape varieties that were added to the AHDB Recommend List for 2017-18.…