Video: Are you selecting the right winter barley varieties?
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has recently published its Winter Cereals Recommended List for 2018.
The DAFM recommended list provides growers with the data needed to correctly choose a variety for drilling this autumn.
Generated from data across seven trial sites, Seedtech’s Tim O’Donovan said: “It allows growers to confidently take the recommended list results as a reliable predictor of how a variety will perform on their farm.”
He added: “All varieties are tested side by side across a range of sites from Co. Cork to Co. Louth. This allows the DAFM to assess a variety’s genetic merits independent of rotation, soil type and varying farm management practices.”
O’Donovan urged farmers to use the recommended list to select winter barley varieties this autumn.
“It’s important to pick a variety that performs consistently over many sites and seasons; the Department of Agriculture’s recommended list is the best way to do that.”
Selecting the right winter barley variety
The Seedtech Technical Director also said: “It’s important for farmers to recognise that for a variety to receive a ‘full recommendation’, it must have been assessed over at least a three-year period.”
This is relevant, he said, as it allows growers to accurately predict how a variety will perform on their farm. With this in mind, it’s important that growers identify a variety that has consistently performed well across the three reference years.
On this point, he said: “Quadra is the highest-yielding winter barley variety from the 2018 recommended list and has consistently achieved this over the last three years.”
Along with assessing yield, the department also identifies how various varieties perform in terms of grain quality.
“The second thing that people look at on the recommended list is grain quality. In terms of hectolitre weight, Quadra has the second highest grain quality on this list,” O’Donovan said.
Straw characteristics and disease resistance
Harvestability, expressed as straw characteristics, along with disease resistance are the final two metrics growers look at on the list.
Quadra has very good straw resistance to lodging and good resistance to straw breakdown; while it has the best overall disease resistance package on the fully recommended list.
Quadra has performed well over the last three years. It is the highest yielding variety with the best grain quality combination.