Five new varieties have been added to this year’s spring cereal recommended lists.

The lists, which were recently published by the Department of Agriculture, also see four varieties dropped.

Geraldine, Skyway and SY Amity are new spring barley varieties which have been provisionally recommended this year.

The varieties Prospect and SY Arderin have been dropped.

Geraldine is the highest yielding variety on the list and is relatively short and early maturing. It also scores well in terms of disease resistance.

Skyway ranks high for yield and disease resistance but is slightly weaker on net blotch.

It is also more susceptible to lodging and straw breakdown. SY Amity ranks highly in terms of yield and has good resistance to lodging.

It is good on disease resistance but is slightly weaker on rhynchosporium.

Spring wheat and oats

KWS Starlight has been dropped from this year’s recommended list.

The variety Hexham, first listed in 2021, is now fully recommended. Two new varieties, KWS Helium and WPB Duncan, are provisionally recommended.

KWS Helium is a high-yielding variety which is good on lodging, mildew and sprouting resistance. It is good on septoria but is moderately susceptible to yellow rust.

WPB Duncan also ranks highly for yield and is good on septoria and yellow rust, sprouting and grain quality. However, it is moderately susceptible to lodging.

No new varieties have been added to this year’s spring oat recommended list but Delfin has been dropped.

Early planning

As growers face a year of uncertainty, early planning is vital.

The publication of the lists gives growers a chance to consider which varieties are most suitable for their farm and to order seed in a timely manner.

While relative yield and grain quality remain key criteria for variety choice, many more considerations must be taken into account.

This is particularly important for the 2022 season where the cost of virtually every crop input has risen.