E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: Australia: Average barley yields increase significantly since the 1970s

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E-Malt.com News article: Australia: Average barley yields increase significantly since the 1970s
Barley news

Average barley yields have increased significantly since the 1970s, according to University of Adelaide barley program leader Jason Eglington quoted by Stock Journal on October 25.

Speaking at the recent Hart Field Day, Dr Eglington said grain yield doubled in the period from 1970 to 2000 but average production was significantly affected by drought conditions in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

"The five-year average has now recovered back up to the long-term trend for productivity increases," he said.

This meant that the five-year average was now at 2.27 tonnes a hectare.

The area sown to barley in South Australia in the 2013-14 season was estimated at 925,000 ha, slightly above the five-year average which could possibly be attributed to limited early sowing opportunities in some districts.

"The area sown to barley varies year to year but is generally pretty stable at just under 1 million ha," Dr Eglington said.

Barley production for last season was estimated at 2.28 million tonnes, with a statewide average of 2.47 t/ha.

"Last year the top varieties were going about 5 t/ha," he said. "These varieties include Compass, Hindmarsh, Fathom and La Trobe."

Dr Eglington said the trends in variety adoption in the past few years continued in 2013, with Hindmarsh, Commander, Fleet and Buloke firmly established as the dominant varieties.

Older varieties Schooner, Barque, Gairdner, Sloop SA, Maritime, Keel and Flagship had dropped to 'very low' production levels.

"In the longer-term, production of minor varieties like Sloop and Flagship will trickle down to zero," Dr Eglington said.

Commander and Buloke were the preferred malting varieties in a broad range of domestic and international markets and therefore could be expected to offer continued silo segregations, malting price premiums and the largest range of marketing options.

One variety currently undergoing malting accreditation with Barley Australia was Compass, the leading performer in 2012 and 2013 National Variety Trials for grain yield and grain size.

"It will be made available for seeding next year through Seednet," Dr Eglington said.

"We're expecting March 2016 malting accreditation. Compass is an outstanding performer for grain yield and is deliverable as feed while it is undergoing the accreditation and marketing process."

29 October, 2014

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