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Choose Valerie – the new quality feed barley competitor

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Senova is a private, independent seed marketing and crop development company based south of Cambridge, representing breeders from across Europe.

Our portfolio is diverse, covering all combinable crops. Senova is actively engaged in the development of oats and winter beans and part fund the successful breeding programmes at Aberystwyth University.

For more information contact to +44 (0)1223 890777

Valerie is a new high yielding two row feed barley with superb grain quality.It outperforms most of the leading two row varieties and has performed particularly well in the East.

Valerie has excellent resistance to lodging and robust disease resistance, including the highest brown rust rating on the RL and resistance to BaYMV.

The grain quality of Valerie is outstanding, with a superb specific weight and importantly, very low screenings. It is a strong performer in all regions and will be a real competitor in the market.

Strong performance from new barley Valerie

Senova’s new two-row feed winter barley Valerie will have no difficulty standing out among the six winter barley varieties that have been added to the latest Recommended List.

Having arrived with a treated yield of 102, at first glance it appears that Valerie is similar to the other newcomers and will have to work hard for its place in the market.

But a closer look soon puts an end to the idea that it is just another two-row feed winter barley.

With an untreated yield of 87 and a specific weight of 70.2kg/hl, it is quickly apparent that there will be demand for Valerie’s rare combination of characteristics.


In particular, good grain quality is difficult to find amongst the current winter barley variety line-up.

It is this characteristic that explains why Cassia – which has been on the list for nine years – continues to attract significant market support.

Despite a yield penalty compared to more recent variety introductions, its ability to consistently produce good grain quality is valued.

That’s why Valerie, with its high specific weight and low screenings, is lining up to be the first credible variety alternative and natural successor to Cassia.

With a 4% yield advantage, it also has better disease resistance, very good standing ability and is earlier to mature.

 “In Valerie, we have a variety that suits the market and is easy to grow,” says Senova’s commercial director Jeremy Taylor. “Growers need another feed variety with the desired bushel weight of above 70kg/hl, so they will be pleased with this introduction.”

Disease resistance

A 9 rating for brown rust and 6s for mildew, Rhynchosporium and net blotch are backed up by BaYMV resistance, while it scores an 8 for lodging and -1 for ripening.

“Only Cassia has comparable grain quality, but Valerie brings more yield and better agronomic characteristics as well,” he adds.

“Against the background of reducing fungicide performance, loss of active ingredients and tighter agronomic standards, the stage is set for these types.”

Jonathan Baxendale, seed product manager at Wynnstay Agriculture believes that Valerie will be seen as a step forward in two-row barley variety choice, as its performance in trials shows that it has the consistency and grain quality that has put Cassia in such a strong position.

“Until now, there really hasn’t been anything to rival Cassia’s record in terms of predictable grain characteristics, which is why it continues to be one of the top selling varieties” he says.

“Unless a newer variety has a specific weight of 70 kg/hl or above, it isn’t seen as a contender.”

Valerie meets this immediate test and brings other rewards, coming along at just the right time for the market and suiting the requirements of mixed farms, which aren’t interested in or equipped for growing hybrid barley.

“The highest untreated yield on the list will be a pull, as it means the variety doesn’t need the attention to detail that some feed barleys require, another plus for the variety,” he continues.

“It stands well and has good disease resistance, including virus, too – there aren’t any obvious weaknesses with Valerie. It seems to perform on all soil types, so it will be interesting to see how it is received by growers.”

His final point is that it is earlier than most winter barleys, so offers some flexibility at harvest. “We don’t yet know how this growing season is going to pan out or what the weather will do, but getting fields cleared in time for the following crop is always a concern.”

Bred in Germany by Breun, the company behind the successful winter wheat JB Diego, Valerie is being marketed in the UK by Senova. Seed will be available for autumn 2019 plantings.   

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