WA’s grain and livestock industries are set to benefit from three new barley varieties released last week, according to Agriculture Minister Kim Chance.
The high yielding feed grains Hannan, Lockyer and Roe were bred by the Agriculture Depart-ment.
Launching the varieties, Mr Chance said they would complement each other in different parts of the grainbelt, providing most growers with another feed barley option.
Their names continued a tradition of naming new products after significant Australian pioneers and explorers: Hannan after Goldfields’ pioneer ‘Pad-dy’ Hannan, Lockyer in honour of Major Edmund Lockyer, of Albany, and Roe in memory WA explorer and Kings Park founder John Septimus Roe.
Feed barley varieties account for 20pc of the sown crop in WA.
Department plant breeders Reg Lance and Chengdao Li, and technical officer Cathy Burchell, led the varieties’ development team.
Mr Chance said the Hannan variety had a solid potential for domestic malting barley and a commercial evaluation would determine its classification.
“Hannan is an early maturity barley with plump grain and moderate resistance to scald,” he said.
“It is expected to be competitive in all areas, but less suited to low rainfall areas unless there are early sowing opportunities.
“Results from agronomic trials and crop variety testing show it had a higher yield potential than Stirling and Hamelin, and equivalent to Gairdner and Baudin.”
Mr Chance said growers in the medium- to low-rainfall areas could look to Roe as an early maturing spring barley with higher yields and improved resistance to powdery mildew compared to Stirling and Hamelin.
Roe’s screenings were equivalent to Hamelin, Stirling and Vlamingh and better than Baudin and Gairdner.
It is regarded as a direct competitor to Mundah.
The variety has not been recommended for the southern coastal areas where it could be susceptible to higher disease pressure.
Lockyer was a medium- to late-spring maturing barley with moderately plump grain and improved resistance to scald, net-type net blotch and powdery mildew.
Mr Chance said Lockyer was suited to medium- and higher-rainfall zones with particular advantage in areas that yielded above 2t/ha.