A NEW SPRING feed barley is ready to challenge existing varieties after the addition of Power to the Home-Grown Cereals Authority‘s Recommended Lists, breeders claim.

While the yield potential of the variety (108% treated yield in HGCA trials) was not as high as other RL candidates, it does offer feed barley growers a good all round option, said Paul Hickman from Advanta Seeds.

“Farmers looking for a feed spring barley want yield, but don‘t want to pay a lot for it, therefore you need a good untreated yield,” he said.

“Feed barley growers also tend to be based in wetter western areas, so mildew and rhynchosporium resistance is important.”

The variety scored 6 for Rhynchosporium and 9 for Mildew resistance in HGCA trials, with an untreated yield of 98% – the highest on the UK Recommended List, the company claimed.

Good straw length is another important characteristic of the variety Mr Hickman added, pointing out spring barley straw‘s value as both bedding and feed for livestock.

But, the variety‘s height did not compromise its standing power (HGCA score 7) and it was still shorter than the market leader, Riviera, he said.

Power will not be fully available until spring 2006, but growers should be looking at its performance in trials, he concluded.