Importance of variety choice in maximising returns from your feed spring barley crop
16 February 2023, UK: For those growers focusing solely on feed spring barley crops it is easy to make out-and-out yield the central consideration when selecting varieties, but let’s not lose sight of the wider benefits some varieties can offer.
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 But despite having been withdrawn from malting tests, it continues to offer useful features that could appeal to feed barley growers, Syngenta seeds portfolio marketing manager, Kathryn Hamlen,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.
Key feed variety attributes:
- Consistent yields
- Excellent grain quality including a very high specific weight
- Excellent straw strength with high ratings for lodging and brackling
In addition to consistent yields across all regions (102%) on the AHDB 2022 Recommended List, SY SPLENDOR offers growers excellent grain quality combined with robust straw characteristics.
“The very high specific weight of SY SPLENDOR is indicative of denser grain with high starch endosperm resulting in higher metabolic energy for animal feed while the positive straw features of SY SPLENDOR seen in terms of lodging and brackling resistance will also protect grain quality and straw yields” says Mrs Hamlen.
SY SPLENDOR has the third highest specific weight over all varieties on the 2022 AHDB Recommended List (68.1kg/hl) and is rated a 7 for lodging and an impressive 9 for brackling.
For many growers the challenge of controlling autumn grassweeds, such as blackgrass, is a significant issue. Spring cropping is a well-known method of reducing grass weed populations as it gives growers more time to remove an extra flush of weeds before sowing. On top of this, spring barley is a competitive crop and therefore more effective in suppressing grass weeds.
But SY SPLENDOR goes further.
The vigorous growth habit, stiff straw and good brackling resistance seen in SY SPLENDOR are key features that provide further help in these situations.
Mrs. Hamlen notes that “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.”
To find out more about the characteristics of SY SPLENDOR, click the button below.
Also Read: Developing Agricultural Research Institutes
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