Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4

Article Title

Barley breeding update


P A. Portmann


Barley, Plant breeding, Western Australia

First Page Number


Last Page Number





Barley production in Western Australia has increased over the past few years, peaking at 1.42 million tonnes in 1984. The European Economic Community, however, has flooded world markets for barley and over half of ourbarley was sold for feed to Saudi Arabia last year. Current prices therefore have declined as has the total area sown to barley in this State.

Despite this, the potential to increase barley yields is most promising. The Department of Agriculture has cross-bred lines in advanced stages of field testing which could increase yield by 10 per cent across the agricultural areas.

In the longer term, particularly in high rainfall zones, barley yields could probably double with earlier plantings and appropriate agronomy. The recent investment in agronomic research in barley is likely to pay big dividends.