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

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…

JOB PROFILES

Job profile: What’s it like to be a seeds sales manager?

If you have got a passion for crops and want to be on the front line of variety developments then a job as a seed product manager could be the…

ROTATIONS

Added-value crops help manage risk on variable soils

Growing crops for added value premiums allows Northampton farmer Rick Davies to offset the extra income against the effects of cropping highly variable soils. With 404ha of combinable crops being…

BARLEY

Switching barley varieties yields better profits in Norfolk

Spring malting barley is the most profitable cereal crop on one north Norfolk farm and in a bid to improve returns further just one new high-yielding variety is being grown.…

Practical advice

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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…

VARIETY SELECTION

Disease resistance key in variety choice for the West

In the final part of our daily four-part series, we look at which are the top variety choices for cereal and oilseed rape growers in the West for this coming…

BARLEY

Next-gen hybrid barley worth growing despite low prices

Hybrid barley could see an increase in its market share this autumn as two new varieties deliver a step change in yield, making the crop a more tempting option for…

VARIETY SELECTION

Feed wheat varieties are favourites in the North

In the third of our daily four-part series, we look at the latest views on what cereal and oilseed rape varieties growers in northern England and Scotland should be looking…

Insights

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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…

HARVEST

Harvest 2016 verdict: What we learned from barley and OSR

Both oilseed rape and winter barley were the real disappointments this harvest, with yields 10-20% down on the five-year average and very low winter barley specific weights are already leading…

HARVEST

Harvest 2016: 5 top-yielding spring barley varieties

Spring barley is the star performer this harvest. Later-harvested trials have brought the average yield down to 7.63t/ha from 7.77t/ha previously, which is very close to the five-year average of…

HARVEST

Harvest 2016: Top 5 yielding winter barley varieties

Throughout the harvest season we’ll be updating this handy map with the latest data from this year’s AHDB winter barley recommended list 2016 harvest results. Use the map below to find…

Harvest 2015: Wheat and barley winners and losers unveiled

Some of the newer wheat varieties have delivered up to 7% more yield than controls in a British harvest that will be remembered for the yield world record being broken…

Harvest 2015: 5 top-yielding spring barley varieties

Throughout the harvest season we will be updating this handy map with the latest data from this year’s AHDB spring barley Recommended List 2015 harvest results. See also: 5 top-yielding winter wheat varieties…