Know How / Variety selection

There are many factors to consider when selecting the right crop variety. Find out which varieties are performing well and proving their worth for the intended market, whether wheat for milling or feed, barley for malting or oilseed rape for specialist uses. With disease resistance becoming ever-important with a declining amoury of pesticides, see how new varieties can help.

Case studies

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Kent wheat grower switches varieties to lift yields

Kent grower Alan Clifton-Holt is switching varieties to raise the harvested yields of his biscuit-making wheats – and foresees a good demand for his grain even in Brexit future. He…


How two farmers hope to make better use of crop inputs

Growers thinking about making major changes to their cropping systems are being urged to "be brave" by two AHDB Strategic Farmers who are testing out new approaches.  Whether it’s reducing fungicide…


How grower targets fish food market and weeds with bean crop

Martin Lines has benefited from growing beans – not only because there is an increasing demand for home-grown protein crops, but also as it has helped him nearly stamp out…


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 trials disease strategies in wheat variety Extase

Three different fungicide programmes are being tested on Britain's only commercial crop of a breakthrough wheat variety in Bedfordshire this season, which takes septoria resistance to a new level. Farms manager…


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…

Practical advice

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Early wheats could be a good bet for catchy, wet harvests

Early-maturing winter wheat varieties could become more important after this summer’s catchy harvest weather, which saw sprouting in wheat ears hit grain quality. These early wheats will be particularly useful…


Which feed wheat varieties to grow in your region

Group 4 feed wheats are well known as the barn-busters, delivering high yields, and the two additions to the AHDB Recommended List bring even more output. Both Skyscraper and Spotlight…


Which bread- and biscuit-making wheat varieties to grow

Group 1 and 2 milling wheats account for more than one-third of the total British wheat area, and with two new additions to the Recommended List, growers have nine varieties…


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…


A regional guide to OSR variety choices for autumn 2019

Choosing the right oilseed variety is becoming increasingly important for growers across Britain, as they look to reduce the risk of a costly crop failure resulting from its many regional challenges.…


Expert picks his top OSR varieties for this summer

With nine new winter oilseed rape varieties on this year’s AHDB Recommended List, growers have 26 different varieties to choose from when drilling the 2019-20 crop this summer. Three of…


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Key wheat varieties see slump in yellow rust rating

A network of early warning sites suggests that yellow rust is overcoming genetic resistance inherited from a key wheat parent, affecting a number of popular varieties. This spring saw several…


Harvest 2019: The 5 top-yielding winter oilseed rape varieties

Throughout the harvest season, we are updating our handy map with the latest data from 2019’s AHDB winter oilseed rape Recommended List harvest results. Use the map below to find…


How OSR growers will benefit from genome-wide breeding

The adoption of genome-wide selection by a major oilseed rape breeder could see a trebling in the yearly genetic gain in yields, along with new designer varieties. Over the past…


What the new TuYV-resistant varieties mean for OSR yields

Two new varieties on the Recommended List this year offer growers the opportunity to protect their crops from the turnip yellows virus while also achieving top yields. When the first…


How Clearfield varieties can tackle erucic acid in OSR

Rapeseed exceeding erucic acid limits continues to be a problem for crushers, resulting in farmers facing deductions or even rejections of loads. Erucic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid…


How resistant varieties can tackle potato cyst nematode

Potato growers battling potato cyst nematode (PCN) problems are set to benefit from significant breeding efforts into producing fresh varieties resistant to the key nematode species Globodera pallida. Some promising varieties…


Two big winners in wheat varieties battle this autumn

Two winter wheat varieties – Zyatt and Graham – are set to be the big winners this autumn, as growers have turned to these two for high yields alongside good…


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…


Three potato varieties show more tolerance to nematodes

Newer potato varieties such as Royal, Lanorma and Iodea are showing useful levels of resistance to the spud industry’s biggest pest problem, potato cyst nematode (PCN). Graham Tomalin, agronomist at…