Check out the latest varieties at Cereals LIVE

Image credit: Cereals

22nd May, 2020: Informed variety selection is key for arable farmers; whether looking for peak yield potential, disease resistance or many other select traits, the right characteristics can set a crop up to flourish.

Though achieving the highest treated yield has been the main driver for a lot of growers, untreated yield and disease resistance are coming to the fore of variety selection as efforts are made to optimise pesticide usage and increase gross margins.

So what new and exciting varieties will be on display at Cereals LIVE? Using video from the Cambridgeshire site as well as plots around the UK, visitors will be able to see a large range of treated and untreated varieties. ‘Being able to see the crops over video will give growers a real feel for how they look and what might suit their own systems,’ says event director Alli McEntyre. ‘Additionally, there will be experts on-hand to answer questions and provide detailed information on the varieties, so growers can find out anything they want to know.’

Comparing treated and untreated yields can help farmers to optimise pesticide use efficiency, explains Bill Clarke at NIAB. ‘Historically, the highest yielding varieties were always dirty and susceptible to septoria,’ he says.  ‘This meant growers had to put a big fungicide programme on, but now we have high yielders which are quite resistant to disease and have a much lower fungicide requirement.’

Some varieties with similar treated yields demonstrate a difference in untreated yield of anywhere from 0.5t/ha to 6t/ha. Producers could therefore make big savings by selecting the right variety to combat disease pressures.

With a range of choice across the board, Simon Oxley at AHDB picks out six top performers to look out for.


KWS Firefly is a quality Group 3 biscuit wheat from KWS. It has the highest yield of the Group 3s.  It is a short stiff variety, which has the highest rating for resistance to septoria tritici for a Group 3 variety of 7.0. It is also resistant to orange wheat blossom midge. It has performed well on heavier soils and in a first-cereal position.

SY Insitor is a new Group 4 hard feed wheat from Syngenta. It is very high-yielding and has a high specific weight. It has given very high treated yields throughout the UK, as well as across a range of soil types and rotational positions. It has high resistance to septoria tritici (6.6).

Theodore is a new Group 4 hard feed wheat for the West region only from DSV. The variety has a high resistance to septoria tritici (8.2), but has a low specific weight. It is a short and relatively stiff-strawed variety. It has given high untreated yields in UK trials

Winter barley

Jordan is a new two-row feed variety from Elsoms Ackermann Barley. It has performed particularly well in the East and West regions, as well as on heavier soils. Jordan has given the highest yields in untreated UK trials for a two-row feed variety. It has high resistance to brown rust and rhynchosporium.

KWS Hawking is a new two-row feed variety from KWS. It has performed particularly well in the East region and on heavier soils. It has shown no major weaknesses in disease resistance.

SY Kingsbarn from Syngenta is a very high-yielding six-row hybrid feed variety with a high specific weight. This variety has performed well across all regions, as well as across a range of soil types. It responds well to plant growth regulators, has given good yields in untreated UK trials and has no major weaknesses in disease resistance.

Visit the Cereals Live website, HERE.