A new soft milling Group 3 winter wheat for the North and two new spring barley varieties with potential for malting have been added to the AHDB Recommended List 2024/25 from Senova.

Winter wheat Almara, which comes onto the RL with a recommendation for the North region, is suitable for all three of the soft wheat markets including distilling, making it a versatile Group 3 wheat.

Its highest yields have been achieved in the North at 102%, while it has a UK treated yield of 99% and an untreated yield of 87%.

Almara has a grain specific weight of 77.6kg/hl and has achieved a medium rating for distilling. It’s also been classified as a uks variety, showing it meets the specification for biscuit wheat export.

In the field, Almara has a yellow rust resistance score of 8, complemented by a 6 for septoria, brown rust and mildew, as well as resistance to orange wheat blossom midge.

At +1 for ripening, Almara is earlier to mature than many existing Group 3 varieties, a key requirement for the North.

Senova’s Tom Yewbrey says Almara is coming onto the market at a time when new Group 3 varieties are urgently required and market flexibility is essential.

“Almara will appeal to all of the end users of soft wheat,” he says. “As well as being suitable for distilling, it meets domestic and export requirements for biscuit wheat. That makes it an all-purpose wheat and ideal for the North.”

Spring barley

NOS Gambit and NOS Munro are Senova’s two new spring barley varieties with malting potential, both of which were bred in Denmark.

NOS Gambit, which is being tested for brewing use only, is a high yielding variety with very good grain quality, low screening losses and desirable agronomic characteristics. With a UK treated yield of 103% and an untreated yield of 94%, it’s performed well in all regions.

Short, stiff straw, a rating of +1 for ripening and a specific weight of 67.5kg/hl give NOS Gambit a profile that is bound to appeal to growers who target the brewing sector, says Tom.

NOS Munro, a non-GN variety, is being tested for distilling use only. Another high yielding variety (103%), it’s giving strong performance in the North, and has a high predicted spirit yield.

Short and stiff, NOS Munro also has good, all-round disease resistance with an 8 rating for mildew and 5s for both brown rust and rhynchosporium.

A 7 for resistance to lodging and an 8 for brackling are further agronomic features, while a +2 for ripening makes it earlier to mature than Diablo.

As is the case with all new spring barley varieties with malting potential, NOS Gambit and NOS Munro will now go into assessment by MBC for brewing and distilling use respectively, says Senova’s Tom Yewbrey.

PGRO Descriptive Lists

Four new pulse varieties from Senova have joined the PGRO Descriptive Lists for 2024. These include the company’s first new spring bean for some time, as well as a new winter bean and two new spring pea varieties.

All bring additional choice to growers and extend the range of variety characteristics on offer, at a time when interest in pulses and sustainable farming systems is increasing, says Tom.

New spring bean Navara, which has a high yield of 106%, comes onto the list with an attractive combination of agronomic characteristics and the pale hilum and good seed size required by the export market.

With a 5 for earliness, Navara has an 8 for standing ability with a 5 rating for downy mildew resistance and a 6 for rust.

A Thousand Seed Weight of 552g and a protein content of 26.2% will add to its appeal, explains Tom, who highlights Navara’s field performance and market acceptability.

Winter beans

Ninja, the company’s new winter bean variety, is an early, short type, which suits a certain market. With a yield of 98%, it has an earliness score of 7.9 and a straw length of 105cm, along with a standing ability of 8.1. Good disease resistance ratings, along with a seed size of 623g and a protein content of 27.3% are complemented by a pale hilum.

For another year, Senova’s existing Vespa and Vincent winter bean varieties remain at the top of the Descriptive List, with yields of 109% and 107% respectively.

“Ninja adds to the winter bean options available to growers,” says Tom. “Seed won’t be available immediately, but there are plenty of other Senova variety choices for 2024.”

Yellow and green peas

Senova’s new yellow spring pea, Batist, and new green pea, Shazam, have also been listed.

Batist is a very high yielding variety at 113%, with agronomic strengths in good standing power and robust disease resistance, including pea wilt.

A seed size of 304g and a protein content of 21.6% are further attributes; it joins Senova’s existing variety Kameleon.

Shazam is a green pea with a yield of 101%, straw length of 87cm and an earliness score of 4.

Tom says Shazam is another variety with good standing ability, as well as being resistant to pea wilt and has a 6 rating for downy mildew.

Batist and Shazam seed will be available for spring 2025 plantings.