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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5 farmers outline their variety choices for this autumn

In the coming weeks, growers will be making their wheat variety choices, with disease resistance, local market requirements and leftover seed stock all  influencing their selections. The loss of the…


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…

Practical advice

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Biscuit-making wheat varieties vying for top spot autumn 2020

Firefly is set to vie for the top spot with Elicit in biscuit-making winter wheat seed sales this autumn, with growers weighing up its good yield and stiff straw against…


What will be the top-selling wheat varieties this autumn?

Extase is set to overtake Skyfall as the top-selling winter wheat variety this autumn, driven by its good disease resistance, stiff straw and early maturity. Seed trade experts believe the…


Why disease is driving winter wheat variety choice

A season-long problem with yellow rust is threatening to unseat some popular winter wheat varieties as growers make their choices for harvest 2021. Finding the disease at the juvenile or…


Tips on which winter barley varieties to drill this autumn

Winter barley variety choice continues to expand, with growers having 24 recommended varieties to pick from, spread across three end-use groups – two-row malting, two-row feed and six-row feed. Starting…


4 wheat varieties with wide drilling windows to consider

The value of wheat varieties with wider drilling windows that allow for later sowing has proved incredibly useful after the wet winter of 2019, offering growers greater flexibility on when…


Why stiff-stemmed and early maturing wheat varieties can pay

There is increasing focus on selecting wheat varieties to shave a few pounds off fungicide bills, but growers are undervaluing some other traits like stem stiffness and very early maturity.…


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Can wheat blends raise yields and cut disease control costs?

Growing different blends of wheat varieties can increase yields while reducing disease pressure, enabling farmers to cut the number of fungicide applications, suggests new Danish research. The landmark research, carried out by…


Why more research is needed for no-till wheat variety picks

More scientific information on how different wheat varieties perform in no-till systems is needed, as growers are having to make selections based on limited data. As the establishment method increases…


A guide to the top 6 yielding OSR varieties on the UK list

The five new high-yielding additions to the UK oilseed rape Recommended List all come from the same breeder as Aspire, the existing top performer. Newcomers Acacia, Ambassador, Aurelia, Artemis and…


Demand for healthy fish and chip oil sees premium for OSR

Oilseed rape growers are set to get a boost from the humble fish and chip shop, as high street fryers turn to healthy rapeseed oil that will earn farmers a…


New whisky wheat variety opens up market opportunity

A new wheat variety specifically designed for the whisky distilling market aims to improve whisky production by reducing the build-up of sticky residues in factory equipment, while also providing growers…


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…