Winter barley excites in trials

Winter barleys are offering some promising yields both in the field and now in some of the early KWS trial results, with some varieties topping 12t/ha.

Bold grained two-rows have led the way, producing average yields on a par with some of the leading hybrid varieties.

At the trial sites in the Eastern counties, variety KWS B104 achieved 12.3t/ha while at the other trials Cassia and Volume managed 11.6t/ha.

Glacier has also produced high yields in the trials – its highest being 11.9t/ha in the East.

While mean specific weights for varieties are surprisingly down on last year, two rows such as Cassia and Glacier produced good samples in the range of 63-67kg/hl compared with Volume at 59-60kg/hl.

According to KWS product development manager John Miles, the trials highlight the better quality grain potential of two-row barleys, even when hybrids are sown at the lower seed rates now being advocated.

“It appears that, once again, those varieties with a better inherent specific weight have done better in another difficult season,” concludes Mr Miles.

Meanwhile, Mr Miles suggests that while more data is required to confirm these trends, bold-grained two-rows continue to look like a great option in the second cereal slot and help to spread the workload.

“Their earliness to harvest, even in a late season such as this, gives growers the best chance to create a good seed-bed and an early entry for their rape crops,” he says.

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