25 October 2023, UK: A new hybrid winter feed barley variety offering enhanced defence against the major yield-robbing winter barley diseases has been launched by Syngenta for planting this autumn.
SY NEPHIN, which has a UK treated yield of 105% on the AHDB 2023-24 winter barley Recommended List (RL), brings growers the highest Rhynchosporium resistance rating currently available on the RL, says Syngenta seeds technical expert, Ben Urquhart, scoring 8 on the 1-9 scale.
“Rhynchosporium is the number one damaging fungal disease of winter barley, causing yield losses of over 1.5 t/ha as well as having the potential to impact grain quality,” says Mr Urquhart.
“SY NEPHIN provides the hybrid vigour benefit of hybrid barley – which is associated with high and stable yields, vigorous rooting and competitive growth against a range of grass weeds. But it also brings other benefits,” he adds.
For SY NEPHIN, Mr Urquhart says, as well as its 8 rating against Rhynchosporium, benefits include a high untreated yield of 90% of treated controls on the RL, a high specific weight of 71.4 kg/hl, and barley yellow mosaic virus (BaYMV) resistance.
“Strong Rhynchosporium resistance offers growers potential breathing space if fungicide sprays are unavoidably delayed,” he explains. “In Syngenta trial plots, SY NEPHIN has also shown good rooting, and produced superior crop establishment to a conventional six-row winter barley following no-till and deep-till cultivations. SY NEPHIN is also relatively short-strawed compared with other hybrids. Overall, it looks set to be a straightforward hybrid to grow.”
For this autumn, Mr Urquhart says SY NEPHIN is widely available.
“Ever since we launched hybrid barley we have been improving the crop’s agronomic characteristics. As well as improved disease tolerance, a big success has come from breeding hybrid barley with higher specific weights. Around one in three winter feed barley fields are now planted with a hybrid,” he adds.
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