AHDB have released some provisional harvest results from the recommended list variety trial sites (located across the UK). Crops covered in the trial sites include wheat, barley, oats, oilseed rape and other minority crops such as linseed, triticale and winter rye. The results are still provisional, but can be found here.
Results from the AHDB trials are used to decide on the fate of each variety for the next edition of the AHDB Recommended Lists (released in November or December).
For Scottish growers a separate recommended list for cereals also exists, which includes varieties of barley, wheat and oats that are of most agronomic and commercial value to Scotland. This can be found here.
Interpreting the Harvest Results
The results show both the treated & untreated yield data for the individual varieties grown at sites across the UK, both in terms of yield and as a percentage of the control variety average yield. Results also show how varieties have fared in terms of disease and other agronomic factors such as specific weight, root lodging and straw strength.
The results are available to download in excel format and can be sorted as desired. For example, Table 1 shows treated results for group 4 winter wheat varieties on Scottish trial sites (The farmer is interested in group 4 distilling varieties).
Table 1: 2023 provisional harvest results for group 4 winter wheat varieties from treated Scottish trial sites.
The results in table 1 have been sorted according to highest average treated yield for 2023. Those varieties suitable for distilling have been labelled, while varieties which can be found on the Scottish recommended list 2023/2024 have been highlighted in dark blue. A full set of untreated results will also become available as harvest progresses.
Don't Focus Too Much on a Single Year/Trial Site
Although results in table 1 are interesting, it is important when looking at the results not to just focus on a single year’s data or results from a single trial site data, as season can add significant variability. For this reason, AHDB produce a 5-year average for cereals and a 4-year average for oilseeds.
Table 2 below shows the same varieties as listed in table 1 sorted according to their average yield over their respective number of growing seasons.
Table 2: Variety average harvest results for group 4 winter wheat varieties from treated Scottish trial sites
In table 2, those varieties suitable for distilling have been labelled, while varieties which can be found on the Scottish recommended list 2023/2024 have been highlighted in dark blue.
Although the figures in table 1 & table 2, provide a useful indication for how the different varieties are performing in terms of yield. It is important when choosing a variety to suit your farm and system, that all agronomic factors are considered (not just yield). Disease resistance, market, date of drilling and grain quality are all factors which should be considered according to your own individual circumstance. All this information can be found in the most recent edition of the Scottish recommended list (This will be updated again later in the year when all the final numbers from harvest 2023 have been crunched).
George Gauley, SAC Consulting
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