SEED company InterGrain has this week released Neo as a IMI-tolerant barley which yields 10 percent more than RGT Planet in medium to high-rainfall regions across Australia.
It is being marketed as having outstanding disease resistance also, and promising malt quality.
Formally known by its breeding code IGB22102T, Neo is described by its breeder David Moody as also having a more weed-competitive plant type to other IMI tolerant varieties such as Spartacus CL and Maximus CL.
“Neo is an extraordinary variety that we are very proud to provide to growers, maltsters and brewers,” Mr Moody said.
“Neo is a once-in-a-lifetime find in a breeding program that evaluates tens of thousands of lines annually.
“As a result, we have fast-tracked the breeding process to get this exceptional variety out to growers as quickly as possible.”
“Once we observed the unique combination of traits in Neo, it became known as ‘The One’
amongst InterGrain staff as the excitement grew.”
While InterGrain’s Maximus CL took eight years to get from cross to release, an improvement of more than two years on breeding prior to InterGrain’s inception, Neo has gone from cross to commercial seed in just five years.
“The speed of breeding, and the anticipated impact of Neo, demonstrates how modern breeding technologies can impact so positively on both grower productivity and the economic growth of the agricultural sector.
“Neo is not just about better yield, it has significant disease resistance improvements compared to the widely grown RGT Planet variety, particularly in terms of resistance for the spot forms and net forms of net blotch.”
In addition to its impressive yield potential and disease resistance, Neo has high levels of grain plumpness, good tolerance to lodging, good head retention, and tolerance to head loss.
InterGrain chief executive officer Tress Walmsley said InterGrain was thrilled to introduce Neo to the market.
“We are confident that it will be a game-changer for growers, in terms of yield, disease and quality, with indicative micro-malting quality attributes suggesting it will be very popular with domestic and international maltsters.”
“In Western Australia alone, the anticipated scale of adoption of Neo will boost the value of the barley industry by more than $45 million per annum.”
Neo has been accepted into Grain’s Australia malting accreditation program, with the earliest potential final accreditation in March 2025.
Grower interest in Neo has already been strong and large-scale commercial seed production is under way across the country through InterGrain’s Seedclub members, and growers are invited to order seed for planting in 2024 now.
Neo is an InterGrain variety containing the Imidazolinone tolerance barley trait technology licensed from Agriculture Victoria Services and was bred by Mr Moody and the InterGrain Barley Breeding team.