Six-row hybrid barley growing© David Jones/RBI

Growers can now sign-up take advantage of a barley guarantee scheme, which could see them pocket a cash rebate if hybrid varieties don’t comfortably outyield their conventional counterparts this season.

Yields of hybrid and conventional barley are measured at a network of trial sites, and if a Syngenta Hyvido hybrid variety fails to yield at least 0.5t/ha more than the conventionals at the three nearest sites to scheme members, they get a cash payout.

Last year farmers were eligable for £60/ha cashback but didn’t receive any compensation as the hybrid options outperformed conventional varieties Tower, Glacier, and Cassia by a national average of 1.08t/ha.

See also: No cashback this year from Syngenta hybrid barley guarantee

“[The Hyvido cashback yield guarantee] has been very popular with growers over the years, and Hyvido hybrid barley now accounts for about a quarter of the UK’s winter barley area,” says Mark Bullen, seeds and seedcare campaign manager at Syngenta.

To qualify for any compensation, growers must agree to follow certain ground rules relating to seed rate, nitrogen applications, growth regulation and use of fungicides (see ‘Compensation rules’).

Growers must send in their application forms by 31 March. Full details of the scheme, including the registration form, can be found on the Syngenta website.

Compensation rules

In the event of hybrid barley failing to yield better than conventionals, growers must prove they abided by the following rules in order to be eligable for compensation:

  • Seed rate Either 200 seeds/sq m or 70% of conventional rate up to a maximum of 260 seeds/sq m
  • Early nitrogen The first nitrogen split must be applied at, or before growth stage 25 with a minimum of 60% of total N applied at or before GS31.
  • Growth regulation An appropriate rate of Syngenta branded trinexapac-ethyl must be used at least once in any PGR programme.
  • Fungicide An appropriate rate of an isopyrazam based fungicide at least once in any fungicide programme.