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

See all


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

See all


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…


See all


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…


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…