Colossus sales double in variety”s second year

SOWINGS OF hybrid barley variety Colossus have doubled in its second year of commercial sales. But seed hasn’t sold out, admits New Farm Crops’ Robert Hiles.

The winter barley market has been difficult, with a 10-20% cut in area, depending on location, he says.

“The number of farmers trying Colossus has increased, but we would have liked a bit more volume.”

Drilled Area

Early estimates put the area drilled at about twice the 2000ha of 2004. But at about 2%, that is still someway short of the 10% market share Mr Hiles believes hybrid barley could ultimately take.

However, Colossus’ on-farm performance, yielding 6% more than growers” control varieties, has encouraged some of last year’s takers to raise their areas this season, he says.

Even so, about 200t of the 600t of this season”s seed remains unsold.

Marketing

The company remains committed to its novel marketing strategy of combining seed, agronomic advice and chemical inputs within the Hybrid Barley System package, he adds.

“But we’re always reviewing the relative success of any marketing strategy.”

Next generation hybrid, provisionally named Boost, will be in HGCA Recommended List trials this season, says Mr Hiles.

“In National List trials last year, it yielded similar to Colossus, with the added bonus of BaYMV resistance.”