Wheat Varieties

All wheat varieties grown in the UK must be on the National List which lists all varieties of the main agricultural species which are eligible for certification and marketing in the UK.

The European Commission compiles Common Catalogues of varieties on Member States National Lists. Varieties on the Common Catalogue are eligible for certification and marketing throughout the European Community.

To be on the National List a wheat variety must be distinct, stable and sufficiently uniform and have satisfactory value for cultivation and use.  Varieties must have an approved name and a business that will maintain them.

In order to be successfully marketed wheat varieties are usually submitted for inclusion on the AHDB Recommended Lists (RL). This list is managed by a consortium comprising the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain (MAGB) and nabim.  The AHDB Recommended Lists (RL) has a reputation as an independent and trusted source of information on varieties.

In order to be list on the RL a new wheat variety must have a 2% yield advantage compared to current varieties, have a good agronomic package of qualities and have the desired functionalities to be listed within the grouping system. If a variety does not havea 2% yield advantage, it must have particularly good quality to join the RL. Varieties are listed according to a nabim classification using four Groups.

For detailed information on individual, please download the 2019 nabim Wheat Guide.


Qualities and Uses

Number of varieties currently on the RL

nabim Group 1

Bread-making varieties with consistent milling and baking performance. They will achieve a premium if they achieve specified quality requirements of 13% protein, 250s Hagberg Falling Number and 76kg/hl specific weight.

5 winter

1 spring

nabim Group 2

Varieties with bread-making potential but not suited to all grists because of variability in performance or some undesirable traits.

5 winter

3 spring

nabim Group 3

Soft varieties used for biscuits, cakes etc. They are lower in protein (11.0 – 11.5%), have good extraction rates and extensible but not elastic gluten.

5 winter

nabim Group 4

These are both hard and soft weeds used mainly for animal feed. Millers may use some varieties in general purpose grists.

10 winter (hard)

4 spring (hard)

11 winter (soft)

Click here for more information on the AHDB Recommended List from their website.