Know How / Variety selection

Case studies

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Late-drilled oilseed rape escapes high flea beetle pressure 

Hampshire oilseed rape grower David Northway is drilling his crop later than many in September and seeing yields touch 4t/ha with no crop failures from pest attacks in the past…


North Yorks grower warms to feed winter wheat Beowulf

Peter Chapman is impressed with the new top-yielding feed winter wheat variety Beowulf on his farm, and he will grow it commercially if the yield of his current seed crop…


Brewing barley gains ground in this spring’s sowings  

Edward Watson turned to spring barley to try and beat blackgrass on his family’s heavy-land farm. He is now growing a malting crop to rival the profit from his top-quality…


Durham grower turns to 'regen' wheat variety

Durham grower Philip Vickers has turned to a relatively new feed wheat variety to help build a more sustainable regenerative cropping system involving direct-drilling and reduced synthetic crop inputs. Philip,…


Wheat blends prove simple way to boost average yields

Growing a mix of different wheat varieties, known as a “blend”, rather than planting a single variety has proven to increase average wheat yields by nearly 0.5t/ha, reveals independent farm trial data.…

Practical advice

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Seed expert's wheat and barley variety tips for autumn

With five new winter wheats and two winter barleys on the Recommended List, should farmers opt for a newcomer, or stick with tried and tested favourites this autumn? Farmers have…


Advice on getting the most from Dawsum winter wheat

One of a strong line-up of hard feed wheats available to growers, Dawsum accounts for almost 20% of all the winter wheat being grown in the UK this year. Joining…


Insecticide-free wheat set for drilling this autumn

An insecticide-free winter wheat variety will be ready for growers to drill this autumn, with the hard-milling feed wheat Grouse hoping to attract interest from those not wanting to spray…


How grower adds flexibility with disease-tolerant OSR

Changing weather patterns and the opportunity to reduce fungicide spray inputs were behind Lincolnshire grower Nick Wright’s decision to grow the sclerotinia-tolerant winter oilseed rape variety PT303. Having once experienced…


Why spring barley can help growers cut their carbon footprint

Spring barley can help growers drive down their carbon footprint by using better varietal genetics and using the benefits of cover crops. Spring crops, in general, are seen as better…


How to adapt management to specific winter wheat varieties

As new varieties arrive to the market, crops are planted over a wide drilling window and disease pressure evolves, tailoring winter wheat management to specific variety needs can help farmers…


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Winter wheat offers disease and virus resistance

After this season’s high disease pressure, a new winter wheat with strong resistance scores, plus immunity to two key pests, could prove a popular choice this autumn. RAGT’s Goldfinch has…


Disease and weather shakes up in wheat variety choices

The savage 2024 growing season is dividing opinion about appropriate winter wheat variety choices for harvest 2025, with commentators recognising reasons to be concerned about some of the most popular…


What makes the ideal wheat variety for regenerative farming?

Wheat growers looking for varieties most suited to a regenerative farming system are unlikely to find all the information they need on the AHDB Recommended List, believes one plant breeder.…


Why growing milling wheat is reducing risk for Sentry

A crop of Group 2 Extase wheat producing a gross margin nearly £700/ha more than Siskin grown for feed in 2023 provided one trigger for Sentry to significantly expand its…


New winter barley choices join varieties with good resistance

Winter barley variety choice is being boosted by the arrival of new resistance and tolerance traits, just in time to help growers minimise risk and keep inputs down. With farm…


After 80 years, where next for the Recommended List?

The future direction of the AHDB’s Recommended List (RL) and the need for it to reflect the move to more sustainable farming systems was the focus at Cereals 2024, as…


Round-up of OSR varieties to drill in summer 2024

Growers deciding on oilseed rape varieties for harvest 2025 have several newcomers to consider, as well as some very reliable performers among existing contenders. Three new UK-wide hybrids from Limagrain…


How harvest cultivations can help beat flea beetle in OSR

Shallow cultivations carried out shortly after the combine can help reduce adult flea beetle populations, but more research is needed to refine advice to growers. Speaking at a recent Limagrain…


New group 3 wheat tipped to rekindle shrinking sector

The arrival of Bamford, Elsom’s new soft Group 3 wheat, is being seen as a significant development for a market sector which has been on a stark decline since 2020.…