The first set of harvest results from the Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) recommended list winter barley trials is now available.

These are based on four trial sites in Eastern and Southern England. The average yield of the control varieties from the four trials is 10.88 t/ha.

This compares very favourably to the five-year average of 9.35 t/ha. The highest yields came from the Teesside site, in the North East of England, averaging 11.53 t/ha. Up to this point, all varieties are yielding in line with previous years.

Six-row hybrid feed varieties continue to achieve the highest yields, with Volume at 107% of yield compared to control varieties and the two candidate varieties Bazooka (109%) and Belfry (107%) topping the yield table to date in 2015.

The six-row conventional variety KWS Meridian (104%) and Daxor (102%) are also performing well in 2015.

KWS Meridian has also achieved the best untreated yield of current recommended list varieties in the UK. KWS Glacier currently achieves the highest two-row feed yield of current recommended list varieties at 102%.

Where brewing varieties are concerned, AHDB points out that quality and market requirements take precedence over yield alone.  In 2015, Talisman has achieved 96% and SY Venture 93% of control yields. Both varieties have full Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) approval for brewing.

AHDB is reminding farmers that the 2015 yield values show the performance of varieties for this year alone.

When selecting varieties for the coming season, growers have been advised that the five-year average is a better indication of variety performance over a range of seasons.

On the five-year average values, two-row feed varieties which have performed well in the UK include KWS Infinity, KWS Glacier and KWS Tower.  All have a yield of 101% of the control varieties.