Farm Management

Barley fact sheets harness R&D info to boost crops

WA DPIRD development officer Georgia Trainor, surveys a barley phenology trial at the department’s new Northam Grains Research Facilities, which contributes to the annual Barley Variety Fact Sheets for WA publication. The 2018 edition is now available online. Image courtesy of WA DPIRD

The latest agronomic and research information to assist barley growers to optimise their crop’s potential is now available online.

The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has updated information for its 2018 Barley Variety Fact Sheets for Western Australia, with the support of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Department development officer Georgia Trainor said barley growers and consultants would be particularly interested in information about two new varieties, Banks and RGT Planet.

“While Banks and RGT Planet have performed well in National Variety Trials, the two lines are still undergoing stage two malt accreditation,” she said.

“Banks, released earlier in 2018, is a shorter, later flowering variety, with a similar yield to the widely sown benchmark malting variety, La Trobe.

“RGT Planet is a semi-dwarf variety that flowers at a similar time to La Trobe, and its yield potential is at least as good as La Trobe in four tonne per hectare environments.

“In head-to-head NVT comparisons, Banks appears to have the advantage over RGT Planet in 3t/ha yielding environments but more data is needed to confirm this.

As the season progresses, growers can use the fact sheets to compare the traits of these new varieties with the ones they are growing in their paddocks.

Ms Trainor said it was important for growers to evaluate whether a new variety would benefit their cropping system.

“The beauty of these fact sheets is that they explain the basic information growers need to easily see the important factors that will help their decision making process,” she said.

The publication also features updated disease ratings, including some slight changes for some varieties.

Ms Trainor encouraged growers to review the updates, especially growers on the South Coast whose crops could be at risk of a new form of Net Type Net Blotch (NTNB) called the Oxford virulent.

“Seedling resistance data suggests that most varieties are susceptible to the Oxford virulent, with the exception of Banks, LG Malstar and Granger,” she said.

“Growers with significantly higher levels of NTNB disease infection are encouraged to collect plant samples before they are sprayed and send them to the department to aid identification and assist research to learn more about this new pathotype.”

Growers sending samples with suspected NTNB to the department can contact technical officer Simon Rogers at or telephone +61 (0)8 9368 3445.

The fact sheets include an agronomic overview of eight malting varieties, eight feed varieties and an overview of Banks and RGT Planet, including yield, disease resistance, days to flowering, agronomic traits and herbicide tolerance.

Ms Trainor said the fact sheets were a great reference guide to compare a variety’s performance against others in the same grade.

“Deciding which barley variety to grow is complex, as no one malt or feed variety will suit every farming system,” she said.

“The fact sheets will help growers to navigate these complexities to evaluate the optimal variety for their property and business.”

The 2018 Barley Variety Fact Sheets for Western Australia publication is available for free on the department’s website.

Source: WA DPIRD

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