A Group 4 soft winter wheat for the North with excellent distilling potential, a conventional two-row feed winter barley with hybrid-level yields and a feed spring barley for the east and west regions are Senova’s three new additions to the latest Recommended Lists.

The winter wheat contender, Swallow, looks like an ideal Scottish variety and comes onto the AHDB Recommended List 2021/22 in the soft Group 4 sector with a specific recommendation for the north, plus has recorded high alcohol yields.

A feed winter wheat variety, it gave its best yield in the north at 102 – it is also likely to be of interest to growers further south. However, it's as a distilling variety that Swallow sets new standards and is expected to have a significant impact on the grain distilling market.

Good all-round disease ratings and resistance to orange wheat blossom midge add to its credentials, as well as its suitability for both very early and late sowing. Bred by John Blackman but due to be marketed by Senova, Swallow tillered freely and produced high ear numbers with good quality grain during the trials.

A high starch content, Hagberg of 245 and specific weight of 76.3kg/hl were complemented by a superb lodging resistance (+PGR) score of 9 [-PGR 8], a height of 78cm (compared to more than 90cm for Skyscraper) and 6s for both yellow rust and brown rust resistance. Senova argued that its septoria tritici score of 5.7 might not be representative, given its yield in untreated trials and is better than other popular soft wheats.

It joins Senova’s hard Group 4 winter wheat, Costello, on the Recommended List.

Bordeaux is the new conventional winter feed barley variety with a UK recommendation which can rival the six-row hybrids for yield, joining the list on 106.

With a specific weight of 69.9kg/hl and low screenings losses, Bordeaux also offers better grain quality than most other winter barleys, along with early maturity. At 86cm tall, it has a 7 for lodging resistance and is also resistant to barley yellow mosaic virus and has ratings of 6 for both mildew and brown rust, with 4s for rhynchosporium and net blotch.

Senova’s commercial director, Jeremy Taylor, said there had been plenty of early interest in it, reflecting the preference that growers have for varieties that perform well regardless of the season but are easy to manage.

“In the difficult 2020 growing year, Bordeaux still produced the goods,” he said. “There are commercial reasons why conventional barley varieties are preferred to hybrids on-farm, and with varieties like Bordeaux closing the yield gap between them, there are now compelling agronomic reasons too.”

The spring barley, Cadiz, is a new, high yielding feed spring barley which has been given a specific recommendation for the east and west regions. Joining the list with a UK yield of 103, it achieved 105 in the east and 106 in the west. Cadiz lines up with Senova’s existing feed spring barley varieties, Fairway and Prospect, as well as its malting type, Cosmopolitan, on the Recommended List.

It had a 7 for lodging and an 8 for brackling resistance, with similar maturity to other leading spring varieties. With insufficient RL data generated for a brown rust or rhynchosporium rating, it has a 9 for mildew.