Decision time on winter barley seed

There are no new additions to the winter barley recommended list for the 2020/2021 season and one variety – Quadra – has been removed from the list which was published by the Department of Agriculture last week.

LG Casting and Valerie remain provisionally recommended this season, having first come on the list in 2020.

KWS Cassia is now a stalwart on the list. The variety with a relative yield rating of 95 and a hectolitre weight of 69.9 first came on the list in 2011 and at present it is the oldest variety by far.

The highest relative yield rating on the list is from Belfry at 110. The six-row variety has a hectolitre weight of 68.5.

Bazooka also has a hectolitre weight of 68.5 and a relative yield rating of 109. Bazooka is the highest variety on the list at 102.2cm. It scores a 7 for resistance to lodging.

KWS Kosmos and Pixel follow on relative yield scores of 106 and 105 respectively. The remaining two-row varieties are LG Casting (100); Valerie (99); and KWS Infinity (97).

The two-row varieties are out-performing hybrids and six-row varieties on 1,000 grain weight, while two-rows still lead on hectolitre weight.

Belfry and Bazooka have the highest rating for resistance to Rhynchosporium at a score of 8, while varieties all rate similarly for resistance to net blotch.

Belfry, KWS Cassia and KWS Infinity rate best across resistance to lodging, straw breakdown and earliness of ripening.

Seed availability

KWS Cassia and Valerie have the highest seed availability for 2020/2021. A full list of seed availability for the coming season is outlined below.

Growers should be getting their seed orders in as soon as possible in order to secure their preferred variety for the autumn sowing period.

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%.