Promising spring barley varieties on the way

The spring barley crops in Kildalton were looking extremely well when AgriLand visited the Department of Agriculture’s variety trials. Although disease pressure is low, so like most parts of the country crops weren’t tested too much.

There was plenty to see in the recommended list trials with a host of new varieties. RGT Planet remains the most popular and looks well in the field, while Prospect and Gangway are solid.

New varieties to look out for, which do not have seed availability, include: SJ Geraldine; Jovita; Skyway; and SY Splendor.

RGT Planet

RGT Planet’s consistent ability to yield, as well as its suitability to malting, make it popular across the country. It is now the oldest variety on the recommended list having made its way on in 2017.

In 2018 and 2019 it had a relative yield score of 102.

SY Errigal

SY Errigal from Seedtech was first listed in 2019 and had a relative yield score of 102 in 2019, up from 98 in 2018. It has a familiar variety in its breeding. Mickle was a favourite among many growers for its low maintenance.


Prospect from Goldcrop will account for 12% of the seed in 2021. It had a relative yield of 98 in 2019 and 101 in 2018.

Prospect had the highest score for resistance to Rhynchosporium in last year’s recommended list with a score of 7.

SJ Geraldine

SJ Geraldine is one variety that stood out to AgriLand. Its strong breeding line includes RGT Planet, KWS Irina and Laureate. Unsurprisingly, this mix seems to be working out well as the variety had a relative yield score of 102 in 2018 and 105 in 2019.


Skyway has just one relative yield score of 106 from department trials in 2019. The variety which is being brought to market by Drummonds has Planet in its background.


Highway comes from Nordic Seeds and is a cross of Sparkle and Quench. It had relative yield scores of 102 and 101 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.


Jovita also has RGT Planet in its cross. It has a relative yield score of 106 from department trials in 2019.

SY Splendor

SY Splendor looked well among the plots. It has two years’ data from department trials and has relative yield scores of 101 and 100 for 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Seed availability

The spring barley seed availability for the 2021 season is outlined below.

Spring barley seed availability for the 2021 season (%):
  • RGT Planet – 35%;
  • Gangway – 19%;
  • SY Errigal – 16%;
  • Prospect – 12%;
  • Laureate – 9%;
  • SY Arderin – 8%;
  • Highway – 1%.