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New cereal and OSR Recommended Lists

The AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Recommended Lists 2016-2017 were announced in early December

The AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Recommended Lists 2016-2017 were announced in early December. Dominic Kilburn reports on the new varieties and their individual merits.

Nine new winter wheat; five winter barley; five spring barley; six winter oilseed rape (East/West), five winter oilseed rape (North) and two winter oat varieties have made the ADHB Cereals & Oilseeds Recommended Lists 2016-2017.
In all, 32 new varieties have been added (and 47 removed), and according to AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, advances in agronomics and disease resistance from those newly recommended sit alongside good yields, to deliver a whole variety package for growers looking for innovative solutions as part of a risk management strategy.
Recommended Lists head Dr Simon Oxley, (left) said: “Realistically, yield and quality acceptable to end-users remain the main drivers for selecting a variety but this year often sees good disease resistance without the associated penalty.”
Additions to this year’s Lists include wheat varieties with improved septoria tritici resistance, he said, oilseed rape with resistance to light leaf spot and phoma stem canker and the first specialist OSR variety with Turnip Yellows Virus (TuYV) resistance.
“You may also see some varieties which may not be a step change in yield, but they are a step change in the management of risk,” added Dr Oxley.
Winter wheat
Looking at the 5-year average of RL winter wheat yields it’s clear that yields are improving year-on-year, apart from the glitch in 2012, with new varieties out-yielding control varieties over that period, said RL technical manager Bill Handley (left).
“It shows that plant breeders are certainly doing their job,” he added.
Newly recommended winter wheat varieties for 2016-2017 included one from nabim Group 1, three from Group 3 and five hard feed Group 4s, he highlighted.
Provisional Group 1 RGT Illustrious (RAGT) comes on to the List with a UK treated yield of 100 per cent against controls which compares with Skyfall’s 101. According to Mr Handley it has produced a consistent bread-making performance over three years of testing and has protein levels (11.5 per cent) similar to other high yielding Group 1 varieties.
It also has stiff straw and good resistance to mildew (7), yellow and brown rust (9 and 8), and eyespot (7). For septoria tritici and fusarium it has a disease resistant rating of 6. “These are pretty respectable disease ratings, although it doesn’t have Orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) resistance,” he pointed out.
RGT Illustrious will undergo further quality testing as part of nabim’s two-step process in granting full Group 1 status.
With no new additions to Group 2, new to Group 3 are ‘UK’ varieties KWS Barrel, KWS Basset (both from KWS) and East/West variety Spyder (Senova).
Suitable for biscuit making, Barrel is the highest yielding of the three (105) and comes with potential for export and distilling, commented Mr Handley. “Its specific weight is OK (76.7kg/hl) and it stands well and, although recommended as a UK variety, it has a good set of characteristics to particularly suit the requirements of growers in the north.”
In addition, Barrel has very good resistance to yellow rust (8), brown rust (7), mildew (7) and it has OWBM resistance.
Basset (103) has a good specific weight (77.5) and stands well and, again, is suitable for biscuit making with provisional uks export and distilling potential. It has stiff straw, OWBM resistance and very good resistance to yellow rust (9). Its 4 for mildew will need watching, said Mr Handley.
Spyder, while not having a headline yield (101), is suitable for biscuits and has distilling potential, he continued. “It has good resistance to mildew (9), yellow (8) and brown (7) rust with a high untreated yield (91),” he added.
Five new recommended varieties come into Group 4 and all hard feed wheats – KWS Silverstone (KWS); KWS Siskin (KWS); Belgrade (Saaten Union); Graham (Syngenta) and KWS Crispin (KWS).
Silverstone is the highest yielding of the lot at 106 and it is also the best performer on lighter soils in trials (110) which shows where it should be grown, said Mr Handley. It has a high specific weight (78.6) and matures early, and comes with good resistance to mildew (7) and an 8 for yellow and brown rusts.
It is however weaker strawed than other high yielding wheats, he pointed out.
Siskin (105), originally bred as a Group 1 variety and with potential for ukp export, is close to Silverstone in terms of yield although better when it comes to untreated yield (96 compared with 87) – the best on the Recommended List. “Its specific weight is fine (77.2) and it has better lodging resistance than Silverstone but is a little later to mature.”
Along with other newcomer Graham, Siskin has a very high resistance to septoria tritici (7) as well as good scores for mildew (9), yellow rust (9), brown rust (7), hence its high untreated yield.
Belgrade is the only E/W variety of the five newly recommended for Group 4 and is also high yielding at 105. According to Mr Handley the variety is early maturing with good resistance to mildew (9), yellow rust (7) and a 6 for septoria tritici. “Its specific weight (75.4) is a little on the low side while lodging is probably middle of the road,” he suggested.
Another relatively high yielder, Graham (104) has good lodging and similar maturity to JB Diego, said Mr Handley. It has good resistance to mildew (8), yellow and brown rust (8 and 7), he continued, with septoria tritici and fusarium both rated high at 7 – the best combination of any variety.
Last of the new Group 4s is Crispin (104), which is a little later to mature and has the added bonus of being the only Group 4 newcomer with OWBM resistance.
It has good scores for mildew (9), yellow rust (9) and a higher than average rating for septoria (6), although it is slightly weaker strawed than some other high yielding varieties.
Winter barley
Five new winter barley varieties make the List: 2-row malting variety Craft (Syngenta); 2-row feed KWS Orwell (KWS) and 2-row feed Surge (Syngenta) and 6-row feed hybrids Bazooka and Belfry (Syngenta). All have barley yellow mosaic virus (BaYMV) resistance.
Craft is currently under testing for brewing and further quality data is required but its yield (97) is in the right direction, pointed out Dr Simon Oxley. “Compared with SY Venture its specific weight (69.3) and nitrogen percentage are similar, while it has a good all-round disease resistance package including a 7 for net blotch and brown rust.”
It is also stiff strawed and early to mature, he highlighted.
Conventional 2-row feed variety KWS Orwell is high yielding (102), stiff strawed and has good resistance to brown rust (7) and rhynchosporium (6), although, like several feed varieties, it is susceptible to mildew and attention will be required to manage it, said Dr Oxley.
“Surge, also yielding at 102, looks to have an OK specific weight (68.9) but with maturity later than KWS Glacier. Brown rust (8) and rhynchosporium (7) is good, as is its resistance to lodging which is reflected in its high untreated yield (89).”
Growers who already grow 6-row hybrid winter barley variety Volume will not be disappointed in Bazooka (107), the highest yielding winter barley variety on the RL, and Belfry (106), continued Dr Oxley.
Bazooka comes with good specific weight (68.4), is stiff strawed and early maturing as well as having good resistance to rhynchosporium (8) and 6 for brown rust and net blotch.
Likewise, Belfry has the same stiff straw and early maturing credentials. Resistance to rhynchosporium, brown rust and net blotch at 7 is good, he reported, adding that both these 6-row hybrids have very good untreated yields and perform well as ‘UK’ and ‘north’ varieties, he added.

Spring barley
The market said it wanted dual-purpose spring malting barley varieties for brewing and distilling, and of the five newly recommended to the List, three offer options for both markets, pointed out Dr Oxley.

Laureate (Syngenta), KWS Sassy (KWS) and Origin (Limagrain) are dual-purpose types and tests are on-going, while Fairing (Syngenta) is suited to grain distilling and Ovation (Limagrain) is for feed.
Laureate (see Farmers Guide December edition for full details) is the top yielder of the newcomers (107), and only just behind the highest yielding spring barley variety RGT Planet (108).
Early maturing, it has stiff straw with good resistance to lodging (7), mildew (8) but its specific weight is a little lower (66.4) than established varieties.
Sassy (105), also high yielding, has good specific weight (67.9), is also early maturing and has good resistance to mildew (9).
Origin (104) is similarly early maturing, has good resistance to lodging and mildew (8) but has a lower specific weight (66.8) than established varieties, commented Dr Oxley.
Fairing (98) is under test for grain distilling – an end-use where a limited number of varieties are available. Its yield is higher compared with the current standard in that end use market; Belgravia (94). Very well suited for the north, Fairing has a high specific weight (68.3), is very early maturing (-2) with good resistance to mildew (8) and rhynchosporium (8).
Very high yielding Ovation (107) is suited to feed and comes with stiff straw and early maturity. It has good resistance to mildew (8) and rhynchosporium (7) but attention is required to manage brown rust (4), Dr Oxley pointed out.
Oilseed rape East/West
Alizze (RAGT), is a hybrid variety recommended for UK, East/West and North Lists. Yielding 108, it performs well on gross output throughout the UK and combines this with a high resistance to light leaf spot (7), stiff stems and high resistance to lodging. It also has the highest yield in the north (111). “It’s good to see that a variety recommended for the UK has good resistance to light leaf spot, rather than just the varieties suited to the north,” suggested Dr Oxley.
Conventional variety Amalie (Limagrain) comes on as a ‘UK specialist’ bringing the novel trait of resistance to turnip yellows virus (TuYV). “As is typical with innovative traits, the gross output (99 E/W and 97 N) is just below the average of the control varieties, but it is stiff stemmed, with good resistance to lodging and good resistance to light leaf spot (6).
Elgar (Elsoms) is the highest yielding on the East/West List (111). It is a conventional variety with stiff stems and high resistance to lodging in combination with good resistance to light leaf spot (7) and phoma stem canker (6). “To me, this is an exciting variety,” added Dr Oxley.
Hybrids Windozz (RAGT) and Wembley (LSPB), while not being “headliners” also provide the grower with a high gross output (both 109), stiff stems and good resistance to lodging, he explained. Wembley has better resistance to light leaf spot (6 compared with Windozz’s 5).
Hybrid variety Angus (LSPB) brings “a special” high resistance to phoma stem canker (8) in a variety with stiff stems and good resistance to lodging.

Oilseed rape North
In addition to the above-mentioned Alizze and Amalie, for the North region, conventionals Nikita (Limagrain) and Barbados (KWS) have gross outputs of 110 and are two varieties with good resistance to light leaf spot (7) and both provide a high gross output in combination with stiff, short stems and good resistance to lodging. Barbados also brings high resistance to phoma stem canker (7). “Nikita is relatively early maturing, a characteristic highly prized in the north where late harvests have become increasingly common.”
With a gross output of 109, hybrid V324OL (Monsanto) produces quality food oil which is high in oleic and low in linolenic acid (HOLL). This fatty acid profile meets the food industry’s quality requirements, allowing growers in the north a choice of two recommended varieties which can provide a premium. It is also stiff stemmed, with good resistance to lodging and good resistance to light leaf spot (6) and phoma stem canker (5).

Winter oats
Maestro (Senova) and RGT Lineout (RAGT) are conventional husked varieties. According to Dr Oxley, the challenge has been to find new winter oats varieties which combine the quality characteristics of high specific weight and high kernel content with good agronomics. Maestro has a high treated yield (105), good specific weight (52.1) and kernel content but it is weaker strawed and susceptible to crown rust. RGT Lineout is high yielding (102) with good specific weight (53.2) and kernel content in combination with stiff straw and early maturity.
Both these new varieties yield well above the most popular winter oat variety Mascani (97), concluded Dr Oxley.

Relative risk
Recommended Lists’ head Dr Simon Oxley explained how the concept of ‘relative risk’ has been introduced to the RL selection criteria in order to ensure resilient varieties make it on to the Lists. “We have taken the criteria used in selecting a variety based on disease resistance, standing power and the risk of yield loss based on trials data to measure the relative risk of a new variety compared with an established one.
“Trialling varieties across variable seasons and throughout the UK from Aberdeenshire down to Kent and across to Cornwall and Northern Ireland, really puts them through their paces. New varieties have passed this tough test and performed favourably alongside the varieties that growers and the industry know well.”


  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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