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Tasmania tops the charts with hyper yielding barley crop

15 March 2021

Spring sown barley has topped grain yields of 10 t/ha and up to 11.42 t/ha in the highest yielding cultivar Laureate.

The irrigated spring barley trials were sown on the 1st September 2020 at FAR Australia’s Hagley based Crop Technology Centre (CTC), host to the Hyper Yielding Crops (HYC) Tasmania research site. HYC is a four-year Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment spanning five states – Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia.

The GRDC HYC project boasts five research sites and attached to each of these are focus farm paddock trials and an innovative grower network influential in taking research and development learnings from small plot to paddock scale.

Dr Kenton Porker, FAR Australia’s research director heads up the HYC barley research programme, he says these were the highest yielding barley crops trialled across the nation in the project’s first year of delivery. “Not only did we feel that spring sown barley had a strong fit with the irrigated cropping rotations available in Tasmania, it also presents as a cheaper option to grow than that of autumn sown barley and allows more flexibility in terms of herbicide resistant grass weed control. Our aim was to turn this into a 10 t/ha crop by focusing on the ideal combinations of germplasm, phenology and agronomic management practices. We are thrilled to have made this goal a reality and look forward to building on these results over the next three years of the project and challenging the yields of autumn sown wheat.”

“The Tasmanian climate is conducive to high yielding spring sown barley crops”, says Darcy Warren, FAR Australia’s Senior Research Officer who is responsible for managing the Tasmania HYC research trials. “Not only is their excellent solar radiation for growth over the spring and summer months but average temperatures in Tasmania are generally lower than that of many mainland cropping areas, thus significantly reducing the risk of heat stress. 2020 saw higher than average growing season rainfall at the site (310.6mm, Sep-Jan) which was supplemented with 80.5mm of irrigation.

Brett Davey, Southern Farming Systems’ Senior Technical Officer is based in Tasmania and has been instrumental in the delivery of trial protocols throughout the season. “On behalf of the wider project team, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Brett for his methodical approach throughout the season,” said Nick Poole, FAR Australia’s managing director and HYC project lead. “The season didn’t come without it’s challenges, but despite these, Brett delivered on the project’s year one protocols which have, in turn, delivered some very pleasing yields at the Hagley research site.”

GRDC’s Grower Relations Manager (Southern Region), Randall Wilksch said: “It’s great to see such strong results from the Tasmanian site so early in the development of this national project investment. We expect continued interest from both local and mainland growers seeking information on higher yielding crops that are both more productive and profitable.”

Please note, these results have been analysed by Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia and are provisional results only.

For more information on the Hyper Yielding Crops project or to find out how you can become involved, please visit

You can also visit GRDC’s Hyper Yielding Crops Focus Farms – a great pathway to adoption.


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