Recommended lists: What spring barley will you plant in 2020?

The spring cereal recommended lists were published by the Department of Agriculture on January 7. No new spring barley varieties were added to the recommended list in 2020, but there was a big clear out of some of the older varieties.

KWS Irina, Mickle and Paustian were taken off the list, while Hacker and KWS Cantton did not make it onto the fully recommended list and were also removed.

RGT Planet continues to strive ahead on yield. It topped the relative yield score at 102, followed closely by SY Errigal on 101.

Prospect and SY Arderin, both provisionally recommended in 2019, had a score of 100 for relative yield, while Ganway scored 98 and Limona 96.

Resistance to disease

All six varieties have a mildew resistance rating of 8, while all three fully recommended varieties – Gangway, RGT Planet and SY Errigal – rated 5 on rhynchosporium. Limona and Prospect fared better with a score of 7, while SY Arderin stood at 6.

Ratings of 8 for net blotch were carried by Gangway, SY Errigal and Limona. SY Arderin (7), Prospect (6) and RGT Planet (5) followed in the net blotch ratings.

Earliness of ripening and straw strength

The provisionally recommended varieties were scoring better for earliness of ripening, while no varieties were hitting the high notes on straw strength.

SY Errigal and Limona rated best for resistance to lodging with a score of 7, while Gangway and SY Arderin came out best for straw breakdown with a rating of 7.

Grain quality

Gangway and Limona topped the polls on hectolitre weight. Gangway had a KPH of 68.3, while Limona hit 67.1.

RGT Planet had the highest thousand grain weight at 50g, while SY Errigal came out at 49.6g. Screenings in general were low, but Limona did hit 3% (<2.2mm).

RGT Planet had a protein result of 10.8%, while the remaining varieties were over 11%.

Seed availability

Spring barley seed will be in demand this season and seed availability may also impact your decision on what to plant. The department provided some percentages of seed availability at the Irish Seed Trade Association open day held in Backweston, Co. Kildare, in June.

RGT Planet and Gangway are the most widely available varieties for 2019. A full list of availability is outlined in the table below.

Spring barley:
  • RGT Planet – 28%;
  • Gangway – 27%;
  • Prospect – 14%;
  • Laureate 11%;
  • KWS Irina – 7%;
  • SY Arderin – 6%;
  • Limona – 5%;
  • There will also be small amounts of Chancellor, Flyer, Highway and SY Errigal available.