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Richard Monk, Hampshire arable farmer

Evelina: increase profitability with versatile spring barley variety

The livestock farmers choice

Farmer: Richard Monk, Hampshire arable farmer 

  • Farm size: 1,250 hectares on mostly ‘Hampshire chalkland’ and some of which is contract farmed 
  • Evelina: In 2016 Richard grew 36ha and then increased it to 41ha in year two and three
  • Yields: In 2017, Evelina yielded just over 7.5t/ha and in the dry and challenging harvest of 2018, the crop yielded 7.27t/ha. In 2019, the crop was a second barley, so a slightly lower yield was expected and Richard had 7t/ha and plenty of straw.

dividing line

Evelina spring barley variety that is gaining popularity with livestock farmers looking for a robust versatile crop. In a competitive arable market, many mixed farmers are considering alternative cereal varieties offering not only strong untreated yields but high yielding straw for bedding or forage.

Hampshire arable farmer, Richard Monk has been growing Evelina for three years running with positive results. “Overall it’s an easy to grow and a tidy feed variety to go into ration mixes. It combines well and produces a good-looking grain with a decent specific weight as well as a good straw crop.”

Richard explains that it’s yielded well and the straw has been plentiful each year. “We sell ours to a contractor. In a year when the straw length was short, due to the drought, we produced just under 3t/ha in 2018,” says Richard.

In terms of inputs, Richard comments that the variety is relatively straightforward. “We’re putting on approximately 150kg of nitrogen without any manures, and generally inputs are simple as it has reasonable disease scores.

“It’s taller than the recommended varieties and it has good lodging resistance – which is why it appeals to mixed farmers.

“We grow it for seed, so don’t need height, which is easy to manage with a growth regulator if needed. Our approach is for a small amount of growth regulator at the T1 stage, together with fungicide and trace elements, followed by a bit more growth regulator and fungicide to control brackling just before awns emerge. A T2 spray of fungicide and trace elements finishes the spray programme,” he says.

“Ultimately it performs well against other spring barley varieties on my farm and has all the characteristics a livestock farmer is looking for,” adds Richard.

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