Western Australian grain growers have access to a new reference guide to assist in decision making about which barley variety they should grow to deliver the best economic return.
The Department of Agriculture and Food’s Barley Variety Sowing Guide for WA 2015 has been delivered in hard copy to about 7000 growers and industry members, and is also available on the department’s website.
Barley is an important crop in WA, with an industry is worth in excess of $600 million.
Department wheat and barley development officer Georgia Trainor said it was important for growers to have the collective information to make the best economic decision for their farm business.
“The variety guide provides growers with market feedback, relative grain yield comparisons, disease ratings, agronomic information and herbicide tolerance ratings for all malting and food barley varieties segregated in WA and selected feed varieties,” Miss Trainor said.
New additions to the guide for 2015 include disease resistance ratings at the both seedling and adult stage and a quick reference guide for each variety.
“The quick reference guide compiles the most relevant information for each variety into a single table,” Miss Trainor said.
“Information on the new varieties Compass, Flinders and La Trobe, which could be grown in 2015, is also provided in this year’s sowing guide.”
The publication will also assist growers with the decision whether to grow barley with a malt, food or feed classification, which depends on six main factors.
“Growers need to consider the premium paid for different varieties when segregated, the relative grain yield of the variety and the differences in inputs costs due to their agronomy and disease characteristics,” Miss Trainor said.
“They also need to consider the likelihood of the grain of a malting variety meeting malt barley receival specifications, if the grain of a food variety will meet food barley receival specifications and the location of receival segregations for malt and food barley varieties.”
The Department of Agriculture and Food’s Barley Variety Sowing Guide for WA 2015 has been produced and distributed with the support of the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
A copy is available from the department’s website agric.wa.gov.au and searching for ‘barley variety sowing guide 2015’.