Spring barley SY Splendor being launched into feed market
26 October 2022, UK: A spring barley variety that combines consistent yields across all UK regions on the 2022 AHDB Recommended List with high grain quality, in terms of specific weight, is being launched to growers of feed barley.
SY Splendor, from Syngenta, was originally bred for the malting market where it was evaluated for brewing use. But despite having been withdrawn from malting tests, it continues to offer useful features that could appeal to feed barley growers, Syngenta seeds portfolio marketing manager, Kathryn Hamlen, points out.
Topmost among these are its consistent treated yields of 102% of control varieties across all regions on the 2022 AHDB spring barley Recommended List, says Mrs Hamlen, plus its high specific weight of over 68 kg/hl. But SY Splendor also offers other characteristics that could be useful if growing spring barley in certain grass weed situations, she adds.
“Spring cropping is a well-known method of reducing grass weed populations,” says Mrs Hamlen, “as it gives growers more time to remove an extra flush of weeds before planting. On top of this, spring barley is a competitive crop and therefore has more effect in suppressing grass weeds. However, the other desirable traits of SY Splendor are its vigorous growth habit and stiff straw with good brackling resistance.
“Early vigorous growth helps a variety to better compete against grass weeds from the beginning of the season – allowing good plant establishment before the grass weeds get a chance to compete. Stiff straw helps later in the season if grass weed populations are higher – as it can help the crop to better withstand grass weeds pulling it down.
“Meanwhile, specific weight is a stable characteristic, which means if you choose a variety that starts with a high specific weight, it will help to mitigate against the competitive effects that grass weeds have for reducing crop grain-filling.
“It is precisely because SY Splendor was originally developed as a malting variety that it has such a good specific weight,” Mrs Hamlen adds.
Currently, the feed sector accounts for about 20% of the UK spring barley market, Mrs Hamlen notes.
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