Choosing your winter barley varieties: a closer look at specific weight

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31 July 2021, UK: Choosing your winter barley varieties

Stick to the basics when selecting a feed variety

With the barley harvest well underway in Scotland, many growers and agronomists are thinking ahead to their variety choices for this autumn.  Yield, both in terms of high yield and consistent yield, is often a key driver for variety choice.  In addition, high specific weight is a critical character too, although, the other key characteristics should not be ignored (especially disease profile, lodging resistance and ripening date) which can all have a major impact on crop management throughout the season.  It’s therefore worth taking the time to weigh up all the options and choose the variety that is right for you.

Hybrid barley varieties all offer high specific weights

Market research has shown that improved grain quality, and higher specific weight especially, is a key feature for Scottish cereal farmers.  In recent years, our breeding programme has focussed on this key trait and only selected the varieties that offer the winning combination of high yield and high specific weight.  This strategy has been extremely successful: the average specific weight of the latest generation of hybrids is now equivalent to the two-row feed varieties.

Furthermore, all of our hybrids are in the top 75% of the feed varieties on the Recommended List.

So, if you pick any one of the hybrid barley varieties, you will be sure to get a variety that offers consistently high yields, with improved specific weight, as standard.

In addition, once the crop is planted, there are some simple steps that you can take to unlock the full potential of your variety.  Early nitrogen applications, coupled with appropriate fungicide and PGR use, can all help to drive higher yield and specific weight. 

 The best hybrid barley varieties for Scotland

Our top 5 variety picks for Scotland are:

You can find further information on each individual variety at www.syngenta.co.uk/varieties/hybrid-barleyor alternatively, speak to your local Syngenta contact.

In conclusion, there’s almost certainly a hybrid barley variety that’s right for you! 

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