2015-05-29   facebooktwitterrss

Launch of New Hybrid Barleys Set to Further Improve Crop Yield

Two new hybrid winter feed barleys, which are set to further build on the crop’s reputation for delivering high yields, are being launched to growers for planting this autumn.

Hyvido Bazooka and Hyvido Belfry combine the highest treated yield figures on the current HGCA candidate variety list with excellent disease resistance, says breeder Syngenta.

New hybrid winter barleys Hyvido Bazooka and Hyvido Belfry are set to build on the high yields established by existing hybrids, such as Hyvido Volume, says breeder Syngenta  

New hybrid winter barleys Hyvido Bazooka and Hyvido Belfry are set to build on the high yields established by existing hybrids, such as Hyvido Volume, says breeder Syngenta

In particular, high levels of resistance to wet weather diseases could see them holding strong appeal initially to growers in wetter western and northern regions of England and in Scotland, says Syngenta seed specialist, Dr James Taylor-Alford.

That would fit neatly alongside existing hybrid Hyvido Volume in eastern and southern regions – where it has been adopted by farmers not just for yield but also for wider rotational benefits, such as its ability to suppress black-grass, he adds.

“Hybrid barley has long been recognised for its ability to deliver high yields,” says Dr Taylor-Alford. “In every one of the last seven years, the hybrid Volume has had the highest UK treated yield figure for winter barley on the HGCA Recommended List.

“In addition with its vigorous growth, its yield benefit has been seen to be even greater when grown over larger field areas, where conditions can be more variable, than when grown in small scale trial plots.

“Now, this next generation of Hyvido hybrids is set to build on this yield potential. Both Hyvido Bazooka and Hyvido Belfry have a 2% yield advantage over Hyvido Volume on the HGCA candidate list, coupled with excellent disease resistance,” he adds.

“Bazooka has a nine rating against Rhynchosporium and seven against net blotch, and Belfry has eights against Rhynchosporium and net blotch – making them an excellent fit in wetter areas. They both also have barley yellow mosaic virus resistance and specific weights of 68 kg/h or above on the list.”

Although grain output is important, Dr Taylor-Alford says this isn’t the only reason for growing hybrid barley.

Currently, growers are facing a number of challenges in rotations, he says, such as drilling winter oilseed rape early enough to maximise its yield potential, and problems with managing black-grass in winter wheat.

So, as well as yield, he says the wider benefits that Hyvido can bring to rotations to help with these challenges are also being increasingly recognised – some of which can also bring financial benefits, he suggests.

“Compared with winter wheat, early-harvested barley provides an earlier entry for successful winter oilseed rape establishment,” explains Dr Taylor-Alford. “Usefully, both of the new hybrids have similar early maturity to Volume. Early harvest also provides an opportunity for early movement of grain and helps to spread workloads,” he adds.

“Indeed, a number of farmers are now growing hybrid barley as an alternative to second wheat. On suitable land, it offers the potential for lower growing costs, and comparisons against second wheat have shown favourable margins.

“Also, hybrid barley has been proven to be more competitive against black-grass. Currently we have most data on Hyvido Volume, for which trial work at ADAS Boxworth showed around a massive 90% reduction in the number of black-grass seeds produced per metre squared compared with winter wheat – even where they both received pre- and post-emergence herbicides.

“Minimisation of black-grass seed return is now a key part of its long-term management in rotations.

“Overall, through its combination of high yield, vigour and earliness, hybrid barley can help to mitigate risk and contribute to whole rotation profitability,” Dr Taylor-Alford adds.


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