27 July 2001
‘Holy grail’ for barley growers

By FARMERS WEEKLY staff

MALTING barley variety Cellar is set to overtake Optics 35% market share in two or three years, according to breeder New Farm Crops.

Whats more, growers of its new rhynchosporium-resistant spring barleys could cut back to one fungicide spray, said technical manager Simon Phillips.

“Cellar is a European variety and that is what the market wants. This could be the Holy Grail that we have been looking for in a variety.”

Yield is 3% higher than Optic, hot water extraction is better and it is earlier. Provisional IGB approval was granted in June.

“Maturity is comparable to Chariot, but it is not quite as early as Prisma.”

Given a normal harvest and normal spring barley crop area next year there will be enough seed for 10% of the UK market.

Rhynchosporium will need watching, as resistance is rated at only four.

By contrast there are new spring barley varieties that present a real opportunity to cut back to just one dose of fungicide, says SAC Scottish Agronomys Huw Phillips.

One spray, timed at awns-emerging, would keep clean those varieties with double nines or nines and eights for rhynchosporium and mildew resistance.

“There is the potential to delay the ramularia spray, or reduce early dose rates,” he said.

New NFC variety Pewter could be grown under such a regime, Mr Phillips reckons. “It is the only variety with a 9 for rhynchosporium resistance.”