Barley Variety Guide gives growers hot tips

Barley Variety Guide gives growers hot tips

The recently released barley variety guide includes a new section on best management agronomy to assist growers to optimise production and profits, alongside updated information on existing and new lines.

The 2018 Barley variety sowing guide for Western Australia has been produced by the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

It draws on results from the department’s agronomy trials from across the Grainbelt, the GRDC’s National Variety Trials (NVT), and information from commercial breeders and agronomists.

Department development officer Georgia Trainor said the inclusion of the best management agronomy section would assist growers to cultivate the right barley variety in the right environment with appropriate management to meet market requirements.

The section focuses on two key production drivers – grain protein management for malt barley and target plant densities for both malt and feed barley.

“To reach the malt quality receival standard of 9.5 to 12.5 per cent, growers can either sow a variety that has an inherently higher grain protein or tailor the timing of their nitrogen fertiliser application to influence protein levels,” she said.

“Typically, as yield increases, protein concentrations decrease, however varietal deviations can occur. The guide includes a ranking of malt barley varieties for their grain protein deviation, after differences between grain yield are removed, helping growers to assess which variety is best for their environment.

“The guide also provides an overview of how barley protein content can be increased by up to one per cent by delaying top up nitrogen fertiliser until stem elongation, without compromise to yield.”

The new section also draws on data from department trials to provide target plant densities for each malt variety and any feed varieties and the likely seeding rates required for establishment.

“The data from 75 department trials showed a yield response to increasing plant density was observed in 85 per cent of trials, while the impact on grain quality was a lot less than growers may think,” Ms Trainor said.

The guide provides updated details about current malt and feed barley varieties, as well as the new varieties LG Malstar and RGT Planet which remain as feed types pending malting accreditation processes.

It also features variety yield comparisons, disease resistance ratings, herbicide tolerance data and an overview of the agronomic attributes of malt and feed varieties.

A selection of quick reference variety Fact Sheets on 17 malt and feed varieties are also included.

The 2018 Barley variety sowing guide for Western Australia is available for free on the department’s website by searching for the title.

Hard copies are being sent to subscribers to the GRDC’s GroundCover network magazine directly and can also be requested from department offices.

Source: WA DPIRD

Featured Image: The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s development officer Georgia Trainor said the new barley variety guide provide growers with a number of options to consider for next season. Image courtesy of WA DPIRD