The Department of Agriculture has just released the winter barley recommended list for 2023.

Two new varieties have provisionally joined the winter barley recommended list for 2023. Two more have been added to the list, while three varieties are no longer recommended.

It’s interesting to note that four out of nine varieties on the list are six-row varieties - of that, three are hybrid varieties.

KWS Joyau and KWS Tardis are now fully recommended, while Bordeaux and SY Armadillo are fully recommended. Valerie, Pixel and Kosmos are no longer recommended.

SY Armadillo is making a big entrance on to the list with a relative yield of 108, two points ahead of Bazooka, which is on 106.

Bazooka and Belfry

Bazooka and Belfry are two well-known six-row hybrid varieties with a strong following and they remain two of the highest-yielding varieties on the list.

Belfry has a shorter straw, with slightly better straw characteristics.

They are on the lower end of the scale for hectolitre weight, but rate excellently for resistance to rhynchosporium and, overall, have a good disease resistance profile.

KWS Cassia

KWS Cassia was first listed in 2011 and is not to be beaten on hectolitre weight, standing out at 70.9kg/hl. Its nearest competitor on hectolitre weight this year was at 69.4kg/hl.

Its relative yield is 98, while ratings are at 5 and 4 respectively for mildew and rhynchosporium, but is at 7 for resistance to net blotch.

Straw height is at 89.7 and it scores a 7 on resistance to lodging. It’s a farmers’ favourite and while seed availability is reducing, it is sure to be in demand.

KWS Joyau

Plenty of farmers will be keeping an eye out for KWS Joyau seed, as it claims tolerance to barley yellow dwarf virus and a number of farmers have given great reports from the harvest gone by.

It scores well on hectolitre weight for a six-row variety at 69.2, relative yield is 105. It’s rated at 7 for net blotch, 6 for resistance to rhynchosporium and 5 for mildew. It’s an early ripener and fits in well to a rotation with a lot of winter barley.

KWS Tardis

KWS Tardis.

KWS Tardis was easily identified this season. It held its green colour for a long time and was one of the last varieties to go under the knife on farms, despite the heatwave.

It scores a 7 on resistance to lodging and is at 7 for resistance to rhynchosporium and net blotch. Tardis has a good grain at 69.6kg/hl.

SY Armadillo

SY Armadillo is provisionally recommended.

SY Armadillo is the biggest yielder on the list at 108, but has only been provisionally recommended this year and will take up about 2% of the seed. It’s also one of the tallest varieties.

The six-row hybrid hits 111.3cm and has provisional straw strength scores of 6 for resistance to lodging and straw breakdown, not dissimilar to its fellow hybrid varieties.

It rates at 8 for rhynchosporium and 7 for net blotch and is at 67.8kg/hl.


Bordeaux is now provisionally recommended.

Bordeaux is also provisionally recommended. The two-row variety rates well on brown rust and its KPH is at 69.2kg/hl.

It’s one of the earlier ripening two-row varieties, scoring a 7 for earliness of maturity.

KWS Infinity

KWS Infinity is around since 2016. It has a KPH of 67.9kg/hl. A relative yield of 97 and rates at 7 for resistance to rhynchosporium and net blotch.

LG Casting

LG Casting has a good rating for KPH at 69.1kg/hl. It has good resistance to mildew, with a score of 8 and a score of 7 for resistance to brown rust and net blotch.

Straw strength is lower than some of the other two rows, but it is at 7 for earliness of maturity.