Major review of AHDB's Recommended Lists to commence

The questionnaire, which can be accessed on the AHDB website, focuses on levy payer requirements
The questionnaire, which can be accessed on the AHDB website, focuses on levy payer requirements

The first phase of a major review of AHDB's Recommended Lists for cereals and oilseeds (RL) is taking place will soon commence.

Input is needed to help AHDB improve the RL so it continues to remain relevant for modern farming businesses.

Initially, farmers and growers are being asked to complete a questionnaire as part of the levy organisation's efforts to improve the variety trialling project.

It will cover aspects from the type and nature of the trials to the way data is analysed and variety decisions are made.

Typically, the main RL project runs in five-year phases, with a large-scale public review conducted during each project phase to inform subsequent activity.

Jenna Watts, AHDB head of crop health, said the review would be thorough and would 'leave no stone unturned'.

"It will also investigate how results reach farmers and ensure that the RL continues to deliver the best value to industry," she said.

AHDB said in-depth discussions will also take place at stakeholder meetings and focus groups over the winter to capture the wider requirements of the industry.

A dedicated review steering committee has been established to lead the project and provide recommendations to AHDB on potential improvements to the RL.

Patrick Stephenson, independent crop consultant and chair of the RL wheat crop committee, has been appointed to lead the review steering committee.

“This review looks forward and aims to keep the RL robust in the face of numerous challenges facing the industry," he said.

"The review will help us focus activity. I am particularly keen to squeeze every ounce of value out of data to make the RL even more relevant to farmers.”

The questionnaire is open until 17 February 2023, with initial results due to be published next spring.

AHDB said results will inform the next phase of the review, which involves planning and costing the actions required to improve the RL over the short, medium, and long term.