New barleys challenge Gairdner and Stirling
"One of the varieties, Baudin, is a semi-dwarf barley with strong straw, good head retention and excellent standing ability. The variety has plumper grain and has wider regional adaptation than Gairdner, " said breeder Reg Lance.
"It is a high-yielding barley that is suited to high-rainfall areas and early sowing in medium-rainfall regions, " Dr Lance said.
Both varieties are susceptible to some of the diseases that affect barley grown in WA and graingrowers will need to implement an integrated disease management strategy when growing them in high disease risk areas.
Department barley breeder and molecular geneticist Chengdao Li said the other variety, Hamelin, was considered to have a superior malting quality to Stirling and outyields Stirling by 4 per cent. It has a brighter grain, is slightly shorter in height and is less prone to lodging than Stirling.
"This variety is similar in plant appearance, phenology and response to agronomy as Stirling and is adapted to most regions where Stirling is currently grown, " Dr Li said.
Seed for the two new barley varieties will be available through the Department's grower direct seed release scheme. Details of the scheme are available at www.agric.wa.gov.au/agency/agwest/plantlabs.