In 2014, on the back of success in wheat breeding, we made a commitment to begin a breeding program for Australia’s second largest broadacre crop, barley. The decision to begin barley breeding helps us to build on our mission of improving the strength of Australian rural communities through the development and adoption of improved field crop varieties.
Beast is our first ever barley variety and comes only six years since the commencement of our nationally focused barley breeding program.
Beast (tested as AGTB0113) has been selected from the advanced germplasm pool that we sourced from the University of Adelaide and is derived from a cross including Compass and Hindmarsh. Like Compass, Beast boasts a vigorous plant type, which is highly desirable in lower rainfall or Mallee type environments, with improved early vigour over the more erect Hindmarsh types (Latrobe, Spartacus CL, Rosalind). This also suggests that Beast may be best suited to low-medium rainfall situations where lodging is less of a concern.
Beast is a quick maturing variety that has recorded its best yields in low-medium yield potential environments. Beast has consistently out-yielded Compass across many environments. Beast has shown its best yields, relative to other varieties, in regions that experience terminal drought stress.
Beast has been accepted into the Grains Australia malt accreditation program, with stage 2 malt evaluation being carried out in 2023. Beast is deliverable into the Barley/Feed grade.
Commercial quantities of Beast may be available through AGT Affiliates, or your local retailer.
Beast is able to be traded between growers upon the completion of a License Agreement as part of AGT’s Seed Sharing™ initiative.
Beast is protected by Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) and all production (except seed saved for planting) is liable to an End Point Royalty (EPR), which funds future plant breeding.
Beast growers will be subject to a Growers License Agreement that acknowledges that an EPR of $4/tonne + GST has to be paid on all production other than seed saved for planting.