Home > ABB Grain Introduces Yarra: Feed Barley Able to Resist Leaf Rust, Produce Good Yields, and Plump Grain

ABB Grain Introduces Yarra: Feed Barley Able to Resist Leaf Rust, Produce Good Yields, and Plump Grain

Supplier News

ABB Grain introduces Yarra: a feed barley able to resist leaf rust, producing good yields and plump grain. A moderately late maturing, high yielding, semi-dwarf feed barley with best adaptation in those regions with 375mm – 450mm annual rainfall.

Resistance to leaf rust and cereal cyst nematode, and excellent grain plumpness and head retention.

The characteristics of Yarra make it well suited to the Yorke Peninsula and Lower Eyre Peninsula regions of South Australia.

In the presence of leaf rust, and without the use of fungicides, Yarra is 30 – 40% higher yielding than other varieties in this region. In the absence of leaf rust, yields in the 375mm – 450mm annual rainfall regions are similar to Gairdner.


Developed by the Malting Barley Quality Improvement Program(MBQIP), Yarra (formerly VB0021) was bred by Dr David Moody of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Victoria, in association with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Released through DPI Victoria from the cross VB9018/Alexis/VB9104, Yarra was registered under Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) in 2005. Yarra was trialled and tested as VB0021.

Plant Characteristics

Yarra has a prostrate early growth habit characteristic of semi-dwarf varieties and is relatively slow in early growth.

It is a moderately late maturing variety and is well suited to May or June sowing relative to other varieties.

Target Growing Regions

Yarra’s unique combination of leaf rust resistance and resistance to CCN is particularly well suited to the Yorke and Lower Eyre Peninsula regions of South Australia.

It is seen as an alternative to Barque, Keel, Capstan and Maritime in these areas.

Yield performance of Yarra has been assesed through inclusion in 117 trials since 1998. The majority of these trials have occurred in Victoria and South Australia, with limited trialling in Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Over all sites and years, the average yield advantage of Yarra over Schooner is 11%.

In the drought year of 2002, in the absence of leaf rust, yields of the moderately late maturing Yarra were 10% lower yielding than the very early maturing, but highly leaf rust susceptible, variety Keel in these same regions.

Disease Resistance

Yarra has a similar level of resistance to CCN as Barque and Galleon. It is moderately intolerant of high levels of soil boron, similar to Barque and Schooner.

In terms of leaf disease resistance, Yarra is resistant to leaf rust but is susceptible to leaf scald and powdery mildew, and moderately susceptible to the spot and net forms of net blotch. Due to the susceptibility to scald and powdery mildew it is strongly recommended seed be treated with a systemic seed dressing providing protection against these diseases for at least 6 weeks after planting. Yarra is also susceptible to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV).

Grain Quality

Physical grain quality analysis indicates the average grain plumpness and screenings levels of Yarra are similar to Schooner. In Victoria grain plumpness levels are slightly lower than the feed varieties Barque and Keel. This difference is not apparent in South Australia, presumably due to leaf rust being more prevalent during 2002 and 2003, with the leaf rust resistance of Yarra providing improved grain plumpness compared to the highly leaf rust susceptible variety Keel in particular.

Grain plumpness of Yarra is substantially greater than Gairdner.

Herbicide Reaction

Herbicide tolerance testing conducted by the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Research Institute during

2003 indicates Yarra is at least as tolerant to the range of herbicides tested as other varieties.

Ordering seed

ABB has sub-licensed the seed production and distribution of Yarra to the Australian Field Crops Association (AFCA). Ordering is possible through either ABB Grain Ltd at www.abb.com.au or the ABB Grain Marketing Help Line on 1800 018 205 or AFCA at www.afca-seeds.com.au.

Plant Breeder’s Rights and Royalties

Yarra is protected by Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR). Any unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagating material of this variety is an infringement under the Plant Breeder’s Right Act 1994. Growers are allowed to retain seed from production of this variety for their own use as seed only.

Yarra will be subject to an end point royalty (EPR) of $1.50 per tonne (excl. GST), which includes a breeder’s royalty return of $1.20 per tonne and a commercialisation fee of $0.30 per tonne.


ABB proudly acknowledges the following people and organisations:

David Moody, Barley Breeder - DPI Horsham Victoria

Mary Raynes, Barley Industry Development Officer Southern Australia – DPI Horsham Victoria

Rob Wheeler, Leader – SA Field Crop Evaluation and Agronomy Trial Program

Hugh Wallwork, Leader - Fungal Pathology Group, SARDI and Program Leader –

Disease Resistance Program, MPBCRC.

Yarra was bred by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries with support from the Malting Barley Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP), Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Australian Grain Growers.

Newsletter sign-up

The latest products and news delivered to your inbox