New RL for cereals and oilseeds launches 

AHDB has launched the online edition of the Recommended Lists for cereals and oilseeds (RL) 2024/25, which is “leaner and meaner” than previous years.

wheat field in England

With fewer new varieties added than in recent years, the latest edition has shorter lists for most major crops and features several eye-catching new additions, including the first BYDV-tolerant six-row hybrid winter barley, the first new UKFM Group 1 winter wheat since 2017 and a ‘barn-filling’ Group 3 winter wheat.

RL 2024/25 also features many improvements to the tables, following feedback from the RL review, as well as information on verticillium stem stripe resistance in oilseed rape for the first time.

Paul Gosling, who manages the RL at AHDB, said: “The RL review has already resulted in numerous changes to the lists. This year’s leaner lists will be welcomed by many. However, quality remains high, with several exciting new additions.”

Barley lists

The winter barley list has two new varieties. SY Buzzard is the first six-row hybrid with tolerance to BYDV, which will be of particular interest to growers who want to avoid insecticide use. It also has relatively good resistance to lodging, although it is lower yielding than other six-row hybrids. Two-row feed variety LG Capitol has high treated and untreated yields, with a good disease resistance package.

The spring barley list has six new varieties, all under evaluation for malting by the Malting Barley Committee (MBC): three for brewing only, two for brewing and malt distilling and one for malt distilling only. The list now makes it easier to identify which varieties have full MBC approval or are under test.

In terms of yield, especially in the East region, Bounty1 (from Agrovista) is the standout addition. Under test for brewing only, it offers good disease and lodging resistance. NOS Gambit (from Senova) and LG Aquarius, also under test for brewing only, are lower yielding than Bounty, although disease resistance and standing are good. 

Under test for both brewing and malt distilling are Belter (from Agrii) and Olsen (from Limagrain) that feature treated and untreated yields above the current market leaders. NOS Munro (from Senova) is under test for malt distilling only and is high yielding in the North. 

While the new additions offer improvements in yield and/or disease resistance compared with the current market leaders (RGT Planet and Laureate), the market is tough to break into and they may still fail to achieve full MBC approval.

Wheat lists

The winter wheat list has five new varieties. 

SY Cheer is the first provisional UKFM Group 1 variety since 2017, with its relatively high untreated yield and good resistance to rusts standout features. UKFM will confirm its Group 1 classification in March 2024. However, baking quality test results have been good to date, which includes good gluten strength.

The list also features two new recommended UKFM Group 3 varieties. Bamford (from Elsoms) has very high treated and untreated yields, which match up to the best Group 4 varieties, and good disease resistance and grain quality. With approval for distilling and export, it may attract good interest from growers.

Almara (from Senova) is recommended only for the North region, where it has good treated (based on limited data) and untreated yields. It has approval for export. Its favourable distilling report marked it out as a good variety for this region.

The only new Group 4 soft variety is Blackstone (from Elsoms), with good disease and lodging resistance and untreated yield. It also received a favourable distilling report and its high specific weight offers reassurance to feed growers.

The only hard Group 4 variety added is LG Beowulf. With consistent high yields (across regions), high untreated yields, resistance to lodging and good grain quality, it adds strength to this already strong group. 

The spring wheat list has two new varieties. UKFM Group 2 WPB Mylo (from LSPB) is a short variety with good disease resistance. SEW19-3003SW2 is a very high-yielding hard Group 4 variety with good disease resistance and high specific weight. 

Winter oilseed rape list

The winter oilseed rape list features information on verticillium stem stripe resistance for the first time. Varieties are rated as either susceptible, moderately resistant or intermediate. Those rated as moderately resistant are significantly different to those rated as susceptible. However, data is currently limited for most varieties. The need for this disease data was identified in the previous RL review and is the culmination of nearly a decade’s worth of research investment. 

Phoma stem canker ratings have been ‘reset’ to correct a drift in the ratings over recent years. As a result, ratings have generally fallen. However, this does not reflect a change in varietal resistance rather improvements to the rating calculation process.

The three new UK-recommended hybrid varieties – LG Armada, LG Academic and LG Adeline – have high yields and good disease resistance, including resistance to TuYV. They do not currently have a verticillium rating.

Recommended for the East/West region, hybrid variety Dolphin (from DSV) has a high yield. It has good disease resistance and is one of only seven varieties to be rated as moderately resistant to verticillium.

A new UK-recommended conventional variety Pi Pinnacle (from Grainseed) has particularly good yields in the East/West region and good light leaf spot resistance. Miraculix CL (from DSV) is a new Clearfield® variety for the North region, where it has relatively high yields.

This list has been reorganised to group the varieties by type (rather than by region) in response to feedback during the RL review.

Oats lists

The spring oats list features two new varieties. Husked variety Asterion (from Saaten Union) offers good treated and untreated yields, good disease resistance and high kernel content. Ovation (from Senova) is a new described naked oat, notable for its relatively high untreated yield. Once again, there are no new winter oat varieties.

List improvements

Next year is the 80-year anniversary of the first recommended list and the RL continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of farmers.

In response to feedback from the latest RL review, the online tables feature numerous improvements to help farmers navigate the lists.

The RL app also includes a new feature to allow a side-by-side comparison of varieties. The app will be updated in January with RL 2024/25 data.

The RL archive now also features a tool to help users identify the year when varieties were first and last listed.

The RL booklet, due out in January, will also feature major changes to the table designs and extensive information about the RL trial and the recommendation processes.

Two calls for scoping reviews have also been issued to examine evidence of varietal responses under lower-input scenarios (nitrogen and fungicides, respectively).

Paul said: “Some recommendations from the RL review can be quickly applied, some will take longer or not be practical or affordable. We are also looking at ways to maximise the value of RL data already collected to provide new varietal insights. Whatever the next steps, we will keep users of the RL informed about major developments.”

View the RL here:

For full analysis of the new RL, check out the January issue of Farmers Guide.

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