Variety selection tool for spring barley

Navigate Recommended Lists (RL) trial data, make comparisons and identify the most promising spring barley varieties for your unique situation

Use filters to home in on spring barley varieties and agronomic merit scores to reveal those with the greatest genetic potential to resist lodging and diseases on your farm.

Important note

This tool is based on the latest (RL 2024/25) data.

Quick links

Variety selection tool (home page)

An introduction to the variety selection tools (video)

Recommended Lists


1. Variety filters

Filters are a simple way to exclude varieties from an analysis. They allow you to specify market requirements, account for key diseases and reflect preferred agronomic features. Only varieties that meet your needs show in the scatter plot chart (bottom right).

Use the green slide selectors (or number boxes) to define preferred ranges for disease resistance and grain quality (specific weight, screenings and nitrogen content). Note: For many fields, it is possible to select values to one decimal place. Often rounded up/down to the nearest whole number in the RL publication (e.g. most disease ratings), the tool provides greater selection power. Note: take care to not exclude unintended data (e.g. to show varieties with a published resistance rating of 7, select a range of 6.5–7.4).

Select ‘Clear all filters’ to reset all values to the RL default values (i.e. as published in the main RL with no varieties excluded).

2. What is agronomic merit?

Disease resistance and good agronomics are considered more crucial than yield by many farmers and agronomists. Agronomic merit is a non-yield based metric that aims to capture the genetic potential for resistance to disease and lodging, to help farmers and agronomists with variety selection. The RL includes resistance ratings for key diseases and lodging. However, the relative importance of these factors will depend on your particular situation. Agronomic merit takes account of a variety’s resistance to three key diseases and lodging as well as their relative importance and is displayed on the X-axis of the chart. The table below provides an example of an agronomic merit calculation.

ComponentImportance*Weighting*Resistance rating**Score
Rhychosporium Very high 10 4.1 41.0
Brown rust Medium 4 5.4 21.6
Mildew High 7 8.6 60.2
Lodging High 7 6.6 46.2
Brackling High 7 7.5 52.5
Agronomic merit221.5

*Default Importance and weightings displayed for the North region. ** RL resistance ratings use a simple scale from 1 (least resistant) to 9 (most resistant). Ratings displayed for Concerto.

By default, the importance of each of the diseases is set up in the tool depending on the regional yield data selected (UK, East, North or West). However, you can determine how agronomic merit is calculated by placing greater importance on things that really matter on your farm. You can do so by clicking the relevant button for each factor. In addition, to view a particular RL resistance rating on the X-axis instead of Agronomic merit, click on the corresponding RL rating button. This sets the weighting for the selected resistance rating to 1 and the others to 0.

3. Disease importance

4. Regions used for calculation of regional yields.

5. Alternative views

The coloured dots can also show a range of alternative views. For example, scope of recommendation (East, West and North), end-use groups or the number of trials (for specific situations) – use the ‘Distinguish by varieties’ drop-down box.

Additional information

Growers are strongly advised to check with their buyer before committing to a malting variety without full MBC approval.