Spring barley recommended and candidate lists

The spring barley recommended and candidate lists provide information on yield and quality performance and agronomic features to assist with variety selection. The page also provides information on varieties in Recommended Lists (RL) trials, trial sites and harvest results.

Visit the RL home page

Spring barley highlights

Spring barley recommended list

Spring barley recommended list 2024* (pdf)

Spring barley recommended list 2024* (xls)

Spring barley candidate list

Spring barley candidate list (harvest 2024)* (pdf)

Spring barley candidate list (harvest 2024)* (xls)

Spring barley not added to the recommended list

Spring barley not added to the recommended list 2024** (pdf)

Spring barley not added to the recommended list 2024** (xls)

*Updated 14 June 2024.

**Varieties grown in trials in 2023 but not added to the list.

Spring barley harvest results

Spring barley sowing list for harvest 2024 (pdf)

Spring barley trial sites for harvest 2024 (pdf)

About the RL harvest results service

Spring barley commentary

Commentary covers harvest 2023 trials. Commentary for the current year will be available after the initial harvest 2024 trials have been validated and published.

Spring barley RL harvest results - update

Previous spring barley harvest results reports have excluded data from the variety SY Tennyson. Seed supplied for RL trials in 2023 had high levels of seed borne net blotch. This resulted in high levels of disease in some trials.

It was initially decided to exclude the result for SY Tennyson; however, the RL Project Board have reviewed this decision and decided the data should be included. This update now includes results from SY Tennyson.

Several of the newly recommended malting varieties have also been reclassified after consideration by the MBC and will be reviewed by the RL Barley, Oats and other Cereals Crop committee as feed varieties. These changes of status are also reflected in this update.

Yield of the control varieties has not changed and remains 7.43 t/ha in the fungicide-treated trials, well below the five-year average of 7.83 t/ha. Average yield of the controls in the fungicide-untreated trials is also unchanged at 6.70 t/ha, again well below the five-year average  of 7.01 t/ha.

Yield calculation

Yields are represented as a percentage of the control varieties. In 2023, the control varieties comprise five malting varieties, RGT Planet, Laureate, LG Diablo, Firefoxx and Skyway. The average of the yields from the control varieties is represented as 100%.

2023 averages

Three varieties have finished on 103% of controls in the fungicide-treated trials, newly recommended malting variety SY Signet, Firefoxx and the newly recommended feed variety Hurler. SY Signet and Firefoxx having outperformed their five-year average in this difficult year. Sitting just behind these on 102% is Laureate, with a group of newly recommended varieties; Diviner, still under test for malting, and Sun King, Florence and KWS Curtis, now all re-classified as feed varieties on 101%, along with Skyway. SY Tennyson is at 97%, five percent below its five-year average, with the seed borne net blotch likely to be responsible for at least some of this deficit. All these varieties except KWS Curtis have underperformed their five-year average in 2023. The other recommended varieties have all finished within one percent of their five-year average.

In the fungicide-untreated trials Sun King now reclassified as a feed variety has finished as the top performer in 2023 at 109% of controls, well above its five-year average.  Laureate is second highest yielding on 106% also well above its five-year average, with reclassified feed variety Florence on 104% and malting variety Diviner on 102%. Newly recommended feed variety Hurler is on 101% along with Firefoxx and the described null-lox variety CB score. Other newly recommended varieties are reclassified feed variety KWS Curtis on 100% and SY Signet, on 99%, some way behind its five-year average. SY Tennyson has finished on 94% in these trials again well below its five-year average.

Five-year averages

The five-year average values provide a better representation of performance across seasons, especially for candidates.

On this measure, the newly recommended feed variety Hurler is the highest yielding (104%), with Florence, now classified as a feed variety on 103%. There is then a group of malting varieties on 102%, SY Signet, Skyway, Diviner and SY Tennyson along with the reclassified feed variety Sun King.

Just behind these on 101% are Firefoxx, Laureate and the reclassified feed variety KWS Curtis.

In the fungicide-untreated trials the reclassified feed varieties Sun King (105%) and Florence (103%) are highest yielding, with and Laureate also on 103%. SY Signet, Skyway and the feed variety Hurler are on 102%, with newly recommended varieties Diviner and reclassified feed variety KWS Curtis (100%) just behind these, alongside Firefoxx, and the described null-lox variety CB Score. SY Tennyson is on 99%.

The newly recommended malting varieties that have not been reclassified as feed varieties, SY Signet, SY Tennyson and Diviner remain in the commercial testing phase for malting and growers should speak to merchants about markets before committing to them.


Five-year average results provide a better measure of candidate variety potential. However, results can only be published when varieties have completed national listing.

All the candidates this year are potential malting varieties. The highest yielding variety in the fungicide-treated trails so far is the potential brewing variety Nectar, at 105% of controls, two percent above the currently recommended malting varieties. Potential brewing varieties NOS Gambit and LG Aquarius, brewing and malt distilling variety Belter and potential distilling variety NOS Munro are all on 103%. Olsen, a potential brewing and malt distilling variety and RGT Celest a potential brewing variety are on 102%.  KWS Nelis, a potential brewing and malt distilling variety, is on 101%, with RGT Eclipse, another potential brewing variety on 100% of controls.  The variety Rocker has been withdrawn from the RL system by the breeder and will not be considered for addition to the RL.

In the fungicide-untreated yields, NOS Gambit and Belter are the highest yielding at 105%, matching the best of the currently recommended varieties.  Olsen, KWS Nellis and NOS Munro are on 103%.

As with the newly recommended malting varieties provisionally approved for malting, the suitability of the candidates for different malting markets is yet to confirmed by testing and growers should check with merchants about markets before committing to them.

Further information

Access full trial results via the AHDB website: ahdb.org.uk/harvestresults

AHDB Recommended Lists (RL) trials test variety performance under optimum conditions. Care should be taken when making comparisons with commercial yields. Results from individual trial sites should not be used to make conclusions on variety performance. The RL publications are based on information from trials across the UK over several seasons. As more information becomes available from the current harvest, this will contribute to the over-trials averages – which comprise four years for oilseeds and five years for cereals. These averages provide better information for comparison between varieties. Performance variation is not the responsibility of AHDB. Since the focus is to test new varieties, not all RL varieties are presented. Yields for well-established varieties are published at ahdb.org.uk/rl

Spring barley variety comments

Spring barley 2024


Spring barley variety selection tool

Further information

MAGB website

Malting Barley Committee web page

UK malting industry statistics

Malting Barley Committee approved list (harvest 2024)

Agrochemicals for use on cereals for malting and brewing

MAGB members’ wish list for grain nitrogen levels in 2024 barley crop purchases

MAGB malting barley harvest review for 2023