The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has revised its wheat growth guide for the first time in 10 years.

The publication is designed to enable crop progress, structure and final performance to be measured and compared against a series of UK benchmarks. The update, which follows the last revision in 2008, takes account of changes in varieties and the growing environment.

It is based on a set of UK wheat crop benchmarks, developed through observations of high-yielding feed wheat with a slow rate of development, across several seasons at UK sites. During the revision, each benchmark was checked for accuracy and updated where necessary.

“Measurement is vital for effective management at every stage of a crop’s progress. As well as assessing weeds, pests and diseases, crop managers must assess the crop itself,” said AHDB resource management specialist Dr Sajjad Awan.

“Many factors influence crop growth, but – broadly speaking – crop genetics, natural resources and husbandry all interact. The guide can be used to work out how important each factor is.

AHDB stressed that the guide was not an agronomy manual, but could be used to identify where management intervention could make a difference. It includes information on how much each benchmark is affected by crop genetics husbandry.

Other changes in it include:

  • An infographic to show how wheat grows and forms yield
  • A section on wheat growth and yield
  • At-a-glance information on benchmarks during key growth phases and stages
  • Clear information on ways to measure key benchmarks
  • Improved information on grain quality.

AHDB is to publish a revised barley growth guide later this year.