Patriotic winter barley varieties for autumn 2020

Winter barley was turning when AgriLand looked at the Department of Agriculture’s variety trials in Kildalton Agricultural College.

Two new varieties have seed availability this year – KWS Patriot and KWS Joyau. KWS Joyau has barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) tolerance and AgriLand will follow up on this variety in the coming days.

28% of the seed available this year is made up of six-row varieties. This is up from 24% in 2019.

Both two and six-row varieties still looked a picture and in the favourable growing conditions in Kildalton grains were plump.

Some of the newer varieties are shown below, but as the barley had progressed readers may not see as much as they would like from the images. To start things off an image of KWS Infinity is included to give readers a familiar standard to compare to.

KWS Infinity

KWS Infinity was first placed on the recommended list in 2016. The two-row variety has a relative yield score of 97 and rates a 7 for disease resistance to rhynchosporium, net blotch and brown rust, but only achieves a score of 5 for resistance to mildew.

KWS Infinity’s seed availability is down to 11% for the 2020/2021 season. In 2019/2020, it made up 22% of the seed availability.

KWS Patriot

KWS Patriot is new to the ranks. The two-row variety will make up 5% of the seed availability next season. The variety has good lineage with Infinity and Tower in its heritage, so it will no doubt be attractive to many growers.

It had relative yield scores of 102 and 100 in 2018 and 2019.


Valerie was provisionally recommended on the 2020 winter barley lists. The two-row variety had a relative yield score of 100 and rates well across disease resistance and resistance to lodging.

Valerie accounts for 20% of the seed availability next season. It has the same seed availability of KWS Cassia.

KWS Higgins

KWS Higgins is not available in seed this season, but it is a six-row variety to look out for down the tracks. In 2019, it had a relative yield score of 113. In 2018, the relative yield score was 104.

Seed availability

The seed availability of winter barley for the 2020/2021 season is outlined below.

Winter barley seed availability 2020/2021 (%):
  • KWS Cassia – 20%;
  • Valerie – 20%;
  • Belfry – 16%;
  • LG Casting – 16%;
  • KWS Infinity – 11%;
  • KWS Joyau – 5%;
  • KWS Patriot – 5%;
  • Pixel – 4%;
  • KWS Kosmos – 2%;
  • Bazooka – 1%.