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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BARLEY

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…

BARLEY

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…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

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…

BARLEY

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

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…

BARLEY

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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VARIETY SELECTION

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…

DRILLING

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…

VARIETY SELECTION

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…

VARIETY SELECTION

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…

BARLEY

How variety selection can maximise winter barley returns

The winter feed barley market is challenging at present, with a £20/t discount to feed wheat making its margin less appealing as a second straw. Despite the economic case against…

Consider new ramularia ratings in winter barley choices

New variety ratings for ramularia will help barley growers reduce the risk of a disease that has increasingly been causing yield losses in susceptible winter barley in recent years. Ramularia has traditionally…

Insights

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VARIETY SELECTION

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…

VARIETY SELECTION

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 SELECTION

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…

VARIETY SELECTION

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

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

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

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…

VARIETY SELECTION

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…

VARIETY SELECTION

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.…

VARIETY SELECTION

Top-yielding candidate varieties revealed

Last season was a challenging one, with “average” yields being the new “good”. However, some candidate varieties in AHDB trials offered a glimpse of what is to come. Those up…