Evelina spring barley: The ideal choice for livestock farmers

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A consistently solid performer, even in the difficult growing season of 2020, Evelina is proving increasingly popular with livestock farmers due to its high grain and straw yields. 

Available exclusively from Mole Valley Farmers, Evelina’s superb disease resistance makes it a versatile variety suitable for growing in all regions in the UK. “This alongside competitive grain yields, tall straw and high specific weights, makes it a very useful spring cropping option,’ explains James Henderson, arable trader at Mole Valley Farmers. 

Hampshire arable farmer Richard Monk has been growing Evelina since 2016. “Overall, Evelina is an easy crop to grow and a tidy feed variety to go into ration mixes,” he says.

“It’s easy to manage, combines well and produces a good-looking grain, with a decent specific weight. Its taller than the Recommended Listed varieties and has good resistance to lodging. The extra straw it produces will be of particular interest to livestock users. Any disease issues were managed without undue cost and straw height could be controlled to suit the end-use.”

Orkney grower, Grahame Wilson grew Evelina for the first time in 2020 and says it’s been a great success. “What I’m looking for is quality grain, straw, earliness and health and I believe Evelina ticks these boxes. 

“The yield was around 5t/ha wet which given the field was quite reasonable and quality was good. We grew the crop mainly for the straw and we certainly weren’t disappointed getting 365 small square bales and 28 4×4 round bales off 2.6ha, which was approximately 5.5t/ha.

“We got it in the ground on 14th April, which is about average here, at a seed rate of 185kgs/ha but a dry spell followed, which was followed by a week or so of rain and while it came through the ground quickly the first few weeks were a bit challenging,” says Grahame. 

“When sowing we ran short of seed and finished field with 50kgs of Propino. The difference was very interesting due to the increased straw length of the Evelina, as well as the earlier ripening, possibly a week sooner.

“With a fertiliser application 148-100-100/ha it grew away well in May and June and stayed absolutely clean. In July/August the weather was ok but not especially sunny, however no disease came into the crop, and the straw length was impressive,” adds Grahame.

James Henderson explains that Evelina is a reliable variety for the mixed farmer. “It boasts good grain quality with high proteins and specific weight, vigorous development, tall straw with good standing power and its early maturity gives farmers more flexibility.”

Gemma Clarke of seed suppliers Cope Seeds and Grain supports the grower’s comments on Evelina.  “In UK trials, Evelina showed outstanding disease resistance with no weaknesses, the grains produced high specific weights and had low screenings. It has quick establishment and is early to mature and the straw was visibly taller than other varieties”.

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