KWS Irina: the farmer friendly variety

October 2016

KWS Irina: the farmer friendly variety

Want an easy-to-grow spring barley with stiff straw that is a joy to combine? KWS Irina has it all along with full IBD approval and broad market acceptance

The area of spring barley across England is expected to increase again in 2017 as more growers seek to spread their cropping risk or extend the rotation in a bid to bring problem grass weeds under control.

Whatever your reason, spring barley is in vogue, but in this highly demanding market variety choice is crucial to promoting financial success.† Finding the variety that will fit your needs and those of the market can be difficult, says Paul Taylor, Agrii head of crop marketing.

“If all you used to determine your variety choice was the AHDB Recommended List you would find it hard to separate those varieties with full brewing approval, but under the commercial regimes followed on farm the experience is very different.

“Results from our agronomy trials along with what we have seen on customers’ farms indicates KWS Irina is the spring barley to back. We see it as the clear successor to Propino with its higher yield and stronger export demand supported by increasing domestic use.

“We see it as a ‘grow anywhere’ variety, be that in the north or south or on light or heavy land.† Its stiff straw ensures it stands better than any other fully approved spring barley.”

His confidence is supported by test results from the firm’s marketing partner, Glencore in which KWS Irina returned a better sample than industry standard, Propino.

“In 2015 all cereals did well including spring barleys, but this season has proved far more challenging. For KWS Irina to have done so well in what was a difficult year further supports our decision to designate it a variety suitable for all regions of Great Britain,” he adds.


Chris Ascroft

Farm manager Chris Ascroft of Wilbraham Farms, near Newmarket has been enjoyed another successful year with KWS Irina and plans to grow it again in 2017.

“For the second year in succession, KWS Irina has been the stand-out crop. Where our winter cereals suffered with the lack of sunshine in June, the later maturing crops, including spring barley, fared better.

“At 6.7t/ha, it performed at nearly a tonne per hectare over the farm’s five-year average, but it is the easiness with which it combines that makes it my preferred variety: we covered the ground at roughly twice the rate of the Propino despite a similar yield.”

The sample was rewarding too. “The screenings were acceptable at less than 3% and there was no brackling so we didn’t cut too many heads of with the cutter-bar,” he says.