Now an established crop, Hybrid Barley has proven its strength in the field across yield, straw quality and disease resistance, and more recently in grain quality.
The latest 2018 Winter Barley trial results from the Department of Agriculture put all three Hybrid Barley varieties (Quadra, Bazooka and Belfry) ahead off all conventional 2-row varieties on yield. This, coupled with a very strong harvest performance in the field, shows Hybrid Barley has proven itself to be the smart choice for growers.
Speaking about Hybrid Barley across a number of different topics was Tim Ronaldson, farming in Ballymore Eustace Co. Kildare, John O’Byrne in Tullow Co. Carlow and Gary Prendergast, Golden, Co. Tipperary.
Here we take a sneak peak at what each grower had to say. Follow Seedtech on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram over the next few weeks to view the full video series.
2018 Hybrid Barley Harvest Performance
Gary Prendergast, a well-known local contractor in Co. Tipperary, farms with his father Tommy. Up until two years ago they had grown all conventional winter barley, but decided to try Quadra Hybrid Barley when they saw the yield potential it had.
That decision has paid off for them; explaining this year’s harvest result Gary said “We were happy with the yield from Hybrids, it yielded half to three quarters of a tonne better than the 2-Rows; with quadra yielding 4.2 t/ac and the 2 rows yielding between 3.3 and 3.6 t/ac.”
Not only did Gary’s Hybrid Barley crop yield better, but it also baled better. According to Gary: “We got 10-12 round bales per acre on 2 rows and 12-14 round bales off Quadra Hybrid Barley.”
As a result of this year’s successful harvest, Gary and Tommy plan to increase their Hybrid Barley to 50% of their winter barley acreage.
Discussing the Reliability of Hybrid Barley
John O’Byrne, who has been growing Hybrid Barley for the last 7 years, grew Quadra, Bazooka and Belfry Hybrid Barley this year. One particular field did 3.9 t/ac at 63KPH, which was in a second winter barley slot after oats; with higher yield figures recorded in other fields.
John believes that Hybrid Barley has really proven its reliable performance in the last few years and plans to sow 75% of his winter barley area in Hybrid Barley for the coming year.
“We’ve grown Hybrid Barley in very wet years and now in a drought situation and it still performed very well. It’s proven itself to me that we can get the yield year on year.”
Discussing How Easy Hybrid Barley is to Grow
Having grown 30% of his winter barley area in Hybrid Barley over the past year using all three varieties Quadra, Belfry and Bazooka, Tim Ronaldson now plans to grow approximately 60% his winter barley area in Hybrid Barley this coming year.
Speaking about growing the crop Tim said “Years ago we were growing old 6 row barley, but had a problem with bushel. Having watched and read about the new hybrids, we started to grow them again 5 years ago and we continue to grow them now.”
Tim went on to explain how he finds them straight forward to grow; “You might have one fungicide less, and an extra growth regulator”.
Concluding Tim said “I have no hesitation in telling other farming friends or colleagues to grow Hybrids. It’s quite straight forward.”
Discussing the Cost of Growing Hybrid Barley
Speaking about the costs of growing Hybrid Barley, Gary pointed out that although the seed is more expensive, the crop is overall more profitable based on using the recommended 200 seeds/m² sowing rate and the crop delivering a higher yield.
Due to Hybrid Barley’s strong disease resistance scores, Gary also adapts his spraying programme “The fungicide programme is also a bit cheaper; we don’t have to be in as often with the sprayer.”
Concluding Gary said; “I’d have no problem recommending it to a neighbour for the season ahead.”
Discussing the Quality of Hybrid Barley
Having grown both conventional barley and Hybrid Barley side by side this year, John O’Byrne was able to directly compare the quality of each variety. John reported seeing no difference in his bushels weights and straw quality of his Hybrids was very good.
John particularly noted Belfry and Bazooka’s standing ability saying “we were able to keep their straw short and we had no problem with the crops standing.”
Seedtech are running a competition for three growers to win 5 hectares of Belfry; the newest Hybrid Barley variety to be available in Ireland, with gold standard straw. Growers can enter the competition from their website here and entries are accepted until midnight September 9th.
Seedtech is a leading wholesale seed company in Ireland. Hybrid Barley is available to purchase throughout Ireland from your local merchant. For more information on hybrid winter barley varieties contact the Seedtech team at: firstname.lastname@example.org or at: 051-832814.