Spartacus new barley king

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Jenne BrammerCountryman
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Intergrain breeder David Moody says the new variety is one of the most promising he has seen in 20-years of breeding barley.
Camera IconIntergrain breeder David Moody says the new variety is one of the most promising he has seen in 20-years of breeding barley. Credit: Intergrain

A new barley variety will become available to WA farmers following collaboration between InterGrain and Syngenta.

The new variety, called Spartacus CL, is a new Clearfield barley variety, formerly known as IGB1334T, bred by InterGrain.

The commercial release of the new variety Spartacus CL has been highly-anticipated by growers, following exceptional National Variety Trial performance. In these trials it demonstrated excellent yields, substantially superior to Scope CL, and strong agronomic benefits such as herbicide tolerance to Intervix.

Syngenta’s Cereal Seeds and Seedcare product lead Michael Uttley said Spartacus CL was a major advance in Clearfield barley breeding and offered growers significant improvements in yield and agronomic benefits.

“Growers have recognised the step change in performance from a Clearfield barley and we have seen demand outstrip supply in its first year of release,” he said.

InterGrain’s early-mid maturing barley breeder David Moody said Spartacus CL was one of the most exciting new developments during his 20 years of breeding barley varieties.

“Spartacus CL offers yields that are 10 to 15 per cent higher, across a broad range of environments than Scope CL, the only other Intervix-tolerant barley variety available. It also offers significant improvements in a number of other agronomic traits, and has the ability to really help growers with weed control,” Mr Moody said.

With interest in the variety already at a high, InterGrain is implementing a strong approach to market development by building export demand. Spartacus CL is currently undergoing Australian Malt and Brewing Accreditation.

“Growers across Australia are very familiar with La Trobe barley, so we believe that with Spartacus CL offering a similar plant structure and potentially higher yields and improved grain plumpness compared to La Trobe, the uptake of this new variety will happen very quickly,” Mr Moody said.

Spartacus CL is registered for label rates of Intervix herbicide. The herbicide tolerance trait was developed by, and licensed to, InterGrain.

This means that Spartacus CL offers growers the ability to control brome grass in barley and can be safely grown in a paddock where imidazolinone chemistry has been used in the previous crop.

Using Spartacus CL as part of the Clearfield Production System provides opportunity for excellent control of non-Clearfield self-sown cereals in barley crops.

Mr Moody said many farmers grew barley after wheat, and face the problem of residual wheat germinating and contaminating their barley crop.

“Spartacus CL allows farmers to sow early and dry, before residual wheat has germinated, and then follow-up with Intervix herbicide to control volunteer wheat,” he said.

“Earlier sowing enhances prospects for higher yields and improved quality, in addition to the weed management benefits provided by the use of imidazolinone chemistry.”

As well as Intervixtolerance and high-yield characteristics, Spartacus CL has good straw strength, good lodging resistance and excellent head retention. It has a short rachilla hair length to reduce itchiness compared to Scope CL and offers a good disease profile against most pathotypes of Powdery Mildew and net form of Net Blotch, plus the benefits ensuing from cereal cyst nematode resistance.

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