New varieties on the RL to meet future challenges

This year there are nine new varieties on the wheat Recommended List (RL), and 14 wheat varieties have been removed. The booklet will be landing on doorsteps around Valentine’s Day, but it is already available online. Each year we test current and new varieties in regional trials to tease out their strengths, and in some cases  highlight some weaknesses too. Each year the RL also provides end-users with samples to test to identify the next new quality bread, biscuit, distilling and feed wheat.

Nothing beats your own experience as to how varieties perform on your land under your management for your specific market, but the RL is a good place to start to look ahead as to what you may want to try next. Quality variety choice is likely to be steered by the end user, but there is more flexibility if you are looking at feed wheat varieties, or if market conditions mean you need to look at new or different crops and markets.


New and old varieties never remain static in their performance, and new challenges, usually from changes in the fungi that cause disease or differences in fungicide performance  can impact on the profitability of a variety. The RL demonstrates how varieties have performed in the past. In-season monitoring can identify any changes which may impact on your crops.

Through my blogs, I hope to highlight how the RL and the agronomy research and monitoring information can help you in your thinking  to address new challenges and opportunities. Sometimes the best variety choice is the one you currently grow, but with advances in yields and agronomics, it is worth looking ahead to see if the time has come to make a change.



Simon Oxley spent 20 years in Scotland carrying out applied research and giving integrated pest management advice to advisers and growers on a wide range of agricultural and horticultural crops. Simon currently manages the cereals & oilseeds Recommended Lists and agronomy projects at AHDB. Simon has worked on a wide range of research projects including Scottish Government funded advisory activities in plant health focussing on the monitoring pests and disease activities, and identifying unusual pest, disease and weed outbreaks. Cross institute research projects include cereal pathology projects, in particular work on barley disease epidemiology and management. Simon has been involved with training activities to both agricultural students and BASIS training to agronomists.