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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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…


Berkshire grower earns a good premium from German wheat

Berkshire wheat grower Nick Philp is growing the German top-quality milling wheat variety Nelson, as it gives him a good price premium over most other breadmakers at a lower fungicide…


Wheat variety assessed for ability to cut fungicide costs

One big farming company is hoping that growing the more disease-resistant winter wheat variety Extase will help it fine-tune fungicide spending this spring. Sentry grew 100ha of the variety last…


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…

Practical advice

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New varieties and prices spark biscuit wheat revival

Soft-milling biscuit-making wheats are experiencing a revival led by better price premiums and varieties, and could see a further increase in area this autumn. For wheat growers struggling to meet…


Tips on getting most from clubroot-resistant OSR varieties

Clubroot-resistant OSR varieties are a valuable tool for keeping the crop in the rotation, but growers should also deploy other measures such as liming affected fields. That’s because an over-reliance…


Guide to which OSR varieties to drill in summer 2020

There is a whole host of very good winter oilseed rape varieties on the current AHDB Recommended List, with 13 new additions to consider for all areas and growing situations,…


Why wheat growers need to be extra alert for yellow rust

Wheat growers are being warned to be extra vigilant for signs of yellow rust this spring, even where varieties with seemingly good disease resistance ratings are being grown. New yellow…


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…


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…


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How wheat growers will benefit from virus-resistant variety

Season-long protection against barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) without the use of insecticides is set to become a reality through genetics, as the first winter wheat variety containing the Bdv2…


How blight-resistant Maris Piper can benefit potato growers

A genetically modified, blight-resistant version of the Maris Piper potato which can also be stored at cooler temperatures without adversely affecting tuber quality is being trialled in the UK.  Researchers…


Exclusive: Wheat variety choices set to change after Brexit

Growers are set to focus more on profit when managing their wheat variety choices, as they adapt to the post-Brexit landscape, according to the results from an exclusive Farmers Weekly…


How OSR establishment risk-share schemes compare

Money-back schemes designed to compensate growers for some of the economic risk associated with failed oilseed rape establishment are being offered on seed purchases of selected varieties again this year.…


Why drilling leftover wheat seed early risks disease

Wheat growers planning to drill earlier this coming autumn need to consider the increased septoria risk when using up seed left over from last winter. That’s because some of the…


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 wheat growers should tailor fungicides to drilling date

Growers can more precisely target their fungicide spend to manage septoria, by having a better understanding of how wheat variety choice and drilling date affects the risk from this costly…


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…


Newer varieties mean spring OSR worth another look

Growers are being urged to reconsider oilseed rape in their spring cropping mix, with newer varieties offering a step up in yield and increased vigour. With the challenging autumn conditions,…


Which wheat varieties to consider for spring 2020

The drilling window flexibility offered by spring wheat has never been more appealing, after the most difficult autumn conditions that many can remember disrupted winter cereal plantings and root crop…


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…