Linda Walters1, Simon Craig2
1 Birchip Cropping Group, 73 Cumming avenue, Birchip, Vic, 3483, www.bcg.org.au, email@example.com
2 Farm360 Pty Ltd, 402-404 Campbell Street, Swan Hill, Vic, 3585, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barley is a vigorous crop when compared to wheat. Cultivars have different growth habits that can influence the way they compete for light and resources. Some varieties have a slow early vigour, erect growth habit or fewer tillers, allowing more light interception into the canopy, whilst other varieties have high early vigour and grow in a prostrate manner. Increasing pressure on grass herbicide chemistry, is causing resistance to become a serious issue. With few in-crop herbicides that can effectively control problematic grasses, greater weight will be placed on choosing a variety that can compete strongly against weeds or possess tolerance to Clearfield technology. Trials were undertaken in 2013 and 2016 to compare 12-18 current and existing barley varieties to determine their competitiveness in the presence and absence of weeds, to assist the development of variety specific management packages. The presence of weeds (broadcast oat) reduced overall grain yield in both years between 0.6-1.4 t/ha. Shorter varieties that lack early vigour, such as Spartacus CL, Hindmarsh, Wimmera and Urambie incurred higher yield losses. Whereas taller varieties Compass, Fathom and Scope CL which are highly vigorous and grow more prostrate, offer greater competition against weeds and suppression of weed seed production.