Harvest Results: Below average yields reported at most spring barley sites

Monday, 8 October 2018

Harvest Results from the 2018 AHDB Recommended Lists (RL) spring barley trials show 15 out of the 18 sites reported to date (8 October 2018) have yielded below the long-term average.

Based on these results, the average treated yield of the control varieties in 2018 stands at 6.47t/ha, which is 1.17t/ha below the five-year average of 7.64t/ha. The results now cover the whole of the UK region.

The weather in 2018 made it a challenging year crops, including spring cereals in the RL trial system. The wet spring caused a delay in drilling and the hot, dry summer shortened the season. Moisture was also limiting, particularly in lighter soils. 

The highest yields have been seen in Angus and East Lothian, with the lowest yields in Shropshire, Hereford and Cheshire.

Calculating yield results

Yields are represented as a percentage of the control varieties. In 2018, Concerto, KWS Irina, Laureate, Propino and RGT Planet are the control varieties. The yield average from these varieties is represented as 100%.

2018 results

The 2018 values show yields based on one season from the eighteen sites. Laureate (fully approved for brewing and distilling) has achieved a yield of 105%, LG Diablo (provisionally approved for brewing and distilling) 105%, LG Tomahawk 105% and the feed variety Scholar 106%.

Using the five-year average

The five-year average is a better measure of variety performance over the past few seasons (2014–2018).

Over the longer term, LG Diablo (105%), LG Tomahawk (104%), RGT Planet (103%), Laureate (103%) and Scholar (103%) are all performing well. The popular variety Propino achieved 98%.

When choosing varieties, market requirements, rather than yield, should drive variety selection.

Candidate varieties

Looking at the five-year average yields for the 2018 candidate varieties, the potential malting variety Cosmopolitan achieved 106% and SY Contour achieved 104%. The top-yielding potential feed candidates are SY Kailash (104%) and Embrace (104%).

Full trial results can be accessed via the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds website: cereals.ahdb.org.uk/harvestresults

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