Cereals 2013: Syngenta expects doubling in hybrid barley area

Syngenta expects its hybrid winter barley area to double this autumn with growers attracted by the varieties’ high yields and early harvest.

The agrochemical and seeds group claims a yield advantage of 1t/ha for its Hyvido range of barleys over conventional ones and offers a cash guarantee it they underperform.

“We are aiming to get 100,000ha of hybrid barley this autumn,” says James Taylor-Alford, Hyvido’s portfolio manager.
He says there is about 40,000 to 50,000ha of the group’s hybrid barleys in the ground currently out of a total winter barley crop of about 320,000ha.

“The group’s hybrid varieties, such as its leading one Volume, shows vigouress growth, which allowed them to thicken up rapidly in this season’s late spring”, he adds.

South Lincolnshire farmer Steff Munks is planning to grow 100ha of hybrid barley to replace some of his second wheats this autumn.

“We are hoping to match the yield of second wheats with the advantage of an early entry to oilseed rape,” he says.

On his 2,000ha farm he expects the barley to match the 8.5-9.5t/ha yield of his second wheats.

Mr Munks hopes the hybrids will give strong competition to blackgrass and so may help cut his herbicide costs.

Mark Britton, Syngenta’s campaign manager for cereal crops, explains that the group offers a £60/ha cash guarantee if the hybrid variety does not outyield conventional varieties by 0.5t/ha, assessed over a number of reference sites.

The guarantee stipulates that growers follow advice on seed rates and early nitrogen, and also use Syngenta’ SDHI fungicide isopyrazam and plant growth regulator Moddus (trinexapac).

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