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Fewer but better options for growers New varieties deliver bigger crop yields

Bigger yields – especially in barley and oilseed rape – are promised by the latest varieties recommended by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

The latest Recommended Lists for cereals and oilseeds 2023/24 include a relatively small number of new varieties – but among them are the first new winter malting barley and winter oat varieties for several years.

“We’ve seen relatively few new varieties on the lists this year,” says AHDB list manager Paul Gosling.

“Several years of plant-breeding advances mean the recommendation bar is set high. Relatively few candidate varieties performed better than the best-listed varieties to secure a recommendation.”


The winter barley list includes the first malting variety added since 2018. Buccaneer, from Saaten Union, offers a significant yield increase over the established two-row malting varieties, Craft and Electrum, alongside good disease resistance.

Two new two-row and one new six-row hybrid varieties add strength to winter barley feed yields compared with current favourites. The two rows are Bolivia, from Agrii; and LG Caravelle, from Limagrain.

The latter offers a particularly high yield in the east region and a good specific weight. The new six-row hybrid SY Nephin, from Syngenta, is notable for its disease resistance rating of 8 for rhynchosporium.

Six new spring barley varieties are under evaluation by the Malting Barley Committee -– three for brewing, two for brewing and malt distilling, and one for malt distilling. These offer improvements in yield or disease resistance.

The spring barley list sees feed variety Hurler added. Bred by Secobra and available through Agrii, high yield is its standout feature, says Mr Gosling.

“RL 2023/24 delivers exciting potential for brewing and distilling. However, it is a tough market to break into, with varietal success determined by end users. As varieties can fail to make the grade, farmers should talk to merchants before growing them.”

Oilseed rape

The winter oilseed rape list features three new UK-recommended hybrid varieties: Vegas and Turing, from LSPB, and Attica, from Limagrain. Turing and Attica have especially high yields in the North region.

Recommended for the East/West region, high-yielding Murray from LSPB has a  resistance rating of 8 for stem canker. Recommended for the North region, LG Wagner from Limagrain has the region’s highest yield and good resistance to light leaf spot.

A new conventional variety for the UK, Tom, from CBI, offers a small yield increase but adds options for this important seed-market component. The list also includes Beatrix from DSV, a new Clearfield variety for the North region.

Other varieties

The 2023/24 list features the first newly added winter oat variety since 2018/19. Cromwell, from Senova, offers good yield and grain quality. New spring oat variety RGT Vaughan also features good grain quality.

For winter wheat, the latest RL includes one new UKFM Group 2 bread-making variety, KWS Ultimatum, and one new UKFM Group 3 biscuit-wheat variety, RGT Wilkinson.

The list also adds two new feed varieties for the East/West region: hard-textured Oxford, from DSV, and soft-textured LG Redwald. The latter requires careful lodging management.

There is also a new soft Group 4 for the North region, KWS Zealum, which is likely to be of interest to the distilling market.

Three new varieties have been added to the spring wheat list, offering good grain quality and yields.

They are UKFM Group 1 KWS Harsum, which has particularly high yield; and UKFM Group 2 KWS Alicium and KWS Lightum.

How to access latest recommended lists

The 2023/24 recommended lists for wheat, barley, oats and winter oilseed rape can be accessed online – alongside updated descriptive lists for spring oilseed rape, spring linseed, winter triticale and winter rye.

For details, visit