Harvest Results from eight AHDB Recommended Lists (RL) winter barley trials sites (Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Warwickshire, North Yorkshire, Glamorgan, Scottish Borders and Dorset) have been published to date (23 July 2018), reports AHDB.
Despite the weather extremes across the UK this season, the average treated yield of control varieties (10.11 t/ha) is currently ahead of the five-year average (9.9 t/ha).
Information on untreated yields from five sites (Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Glamorgan, Scottish Borders and Dorset) has also been published. The average untreated yield from the controls is 7.73t/ha, which is the same as the five-year average.
March and April saw mild but wet weather in the main cropping areas, while June to mid-July has been exceptionally dry and warm. Late-June soil moisture deficits were the highest recorded (going back to 1961) and it was the hottest June (going back to 1910).
Differences in yield are often driven by crop establishment and rooting over the winter and the moisture retention capability of soils. Early trial results, however, show no significant differences in yields compared to previous seasons.
Regional information on weather patterns can be found on the new AHDB WeatherHub site, which was launched last week: cereals.ahdb.org.uk/weatherhub
Yields are represented as a percentage of the control varieties. In 2018, the control varieties comprise two malting varieties, SY Venture and Talisman, the six-row hybrid variety Bazooka, the six-row conventional variety Funky and the two-row feed variety KWS Glacier. The average of the yields from these varieties is represented as 100%. The current 2018 values only show yields based on one season from eight sites.
In 2018, the six-row hybrid feed varieties Belmont (110%), Belfry (106%), Sunningdale (108%) and Bazooka (106%) are all performing well. Belmont yield is looking particularly impressive in a challenging season.
The two-row feed varieties KWS Tower (105%), Surge (102%) and KWS Orwell (104%) are showing the best yields in 2018.
Two-row malting varieties are judged more on their quality than outright yield. Currently, the average yields are Electrum (99%), Craft (99%), SY Venture (96%) and Coref (97%).
2014–18 (five-year) averages
The five-year average values (2014 to 2018) provide a better representation of performance across seasons.
The six-row hybrids Belmont (109%), Bazooka (108%), Belfry (107%) and Sunningdale (107%) are performing well.
The two-row feeds, KWS Orwell (103%) and Surge (102%) are performing well on yield.
Five-year average results also provide a better measure of candidate varieties. Results can only be published when varieties have completed national listing. New candidate malting varieties are not national listed at this stage, so results cannot be reported.
The candidate six-row hybrid varieties are achieving good yields in the five-year average figures with SY Kingsbarn at 110% and SY Baracooda at 110%. New two-row feed varieties KWS Gimlet (104%), LG Mountain (103%), Sobell (103%) and LG Flynn (103%) are looking favourable when compared with current popular two-row feed varieties.