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Releasing new barley variety Spartacus CL

Spartacus man in barley field
  • Early maturing, superior yielding Clearfield® barley, similar in agronomic characteristics to La Trobe.

  • Good straw strength, lodging resistance and head retention compared to Scope CL.

  • Growers and agronomists should consider Spartacus CL for the upcoming season to take advantage of this new opportunity.

Syngenta announced today the launch of Spartacus CL, a new imidazoline tolerant barley variety, formerly known as IGB1334T, developed in collaboration with InterGrain.

Spartacus CL, the most recent barley variety released from the collaboration between Syngenta and InterGrain, has caught the attention of barley growers across Australia.

Previously known as IGB1334T, the commercial release of Spartacus CL has been highly anticipated by growers, following exceptional National Variety Trial (NVT) results, where it showed 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 says Spartacus CL is a major advance in the breeding of Clearfield® barley and offers 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,” Michael said.

InterGrain’s barley breeder, David Moody, says that in the 20 years that he has been developing new barley varieties, the new Spartacus CL variety is one of the most exciting that he has ever seen.

“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,” David said.

“With the multiple benefits provided by Spartacus CL, we are not surprised at the huge amount of interest we have had from farmers from northern New South Wales through to Western Australia.

“We knew early on that this type of variety was going to be extremely popular, so we fast-tracked the development from cross to commercial release in less than six years.

“It’s going to have a big impact on the barley industry,” David 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 take-up of this new variety will happen very quickly,” David said.

As an early maturing Clearfield barley variety, developed and licenced by Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd, Spartacus CL is registered for label rates of Intervix herbicide.

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.

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

While Intervix was originally designed by BASF to help combat brome grass which is prevalent across southern Australia, David said farmers in the north east of Australia are also interested in Spartacus CL due to the ability of Intervix to control wild oat populations which have become resistant to Group A herbicides.

As well as the Intervix tolerance 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.