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Stackyard News Jul 07

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Suzuka Winter Feed Barley Variety Launched

A NEW winter feed barley variety aimed squarely at farmers – possibly with livestock – who are looking for an easy-to-grow option which combines robust yields with high grain quality is being launched by New Farm Crops, the UK cereal breeding arm of Syngenta Seeds.

The new winter feed barley variety Suzuka - good yields combined with big, bold grains, says Robert Hiles of breeder Syngenta Seeds, as well as being straightforward to grow.

winter feed barley variety Suzuka

Suzuka, which is in its first year of recommendation on the HGCA Recommended List 2007/08, is a two-row variety with a UK treated yield of 103%, says Robert Hiles, head of UK cereals for NFC, together with big, bold grain and a high specific weight.

Importantly, he says it also combines these with good straw length – a potential additional source of income, or feed or bedding material for livestock producers. Yet it does this without compromising on standing power, he adds.

“As well as good yields, Suzuka also offers growers a lodging resistance rating of eight on the HGCA Recommended List 2007/08,” explains Mr Hiles, “together with good all-round disease resistance. This includes an eight rating against the major disease of Rhynchosporium and resistance to Barley Yellow Mosaic Virus.

“Perhaps equally important, after this season’s rust outbreaks, it also has seven ratings against both yellow and brown rust.”

While growers looking for higher yields may be better off considering a six-row hybrid barley, Mr Hiles says a significant number of farmers still opt for two-row varieties for feed use. It is for these growers that he believes Suzuka holds its greatest appeal.

“In these situations, a reliable variety with good output which is straightforward to grow can allow growers to concentrate on other parts of their businesses, such as livestock.

“With its grain specific weight of 70.1 kg/hectolitre on the HGCA Recommended List, Suzuka also offers a high safety margin over the 63 kg/hectolitre threshold below which growers might incur price deductions if selling off-farm.

“Testament to its robustness, Suzuka also has a very high untreated yield among two-row varieties on the HGCA Recommended List,” he points out.

Of increasing importance with barley – given the need to spread harvest workloads as farms expand yet operate with fewer staff – Mr Hiles says Suzuka is also very early maturing. “It has a ripening figure of minus three on the HGCA Recommended List, which should allow crops to be cleared well before the wheat harvest,” he adds.

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