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Montana researchers announce new barley variety

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Agricultural researchers with Montana State University have announced a new variety of forage barley, and that technology is now available for licensing. Licensing proposals must be submitted by Sept. 1.

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John Brose, special to Agweek

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Agricultural researchers with Montana State University have announced a new variety of forage barley, and that technology is now available for licensing. Licensing proposals must be submitted by Sept. 1.

The variety, called MT981427 (427), was developed for use as hay or forage. With good drought tolerance, high sugar content and high digestibility, forage barley is popular for grazing, full plant silage, hay, cover crop and can be mixed with other crops such as legumes. Forage barley is better suited to cooler, drier areas than other small grain cereals and is best adapted to rich, well-drained loamy soils.

A combination of Montana (Haybet) and Argentine (NE760) varieties developed as part of an agricultural exchange, the new variety is a spring barley that is best planted between mid-March to late April. Breeders suggest that it will be a good weed suppressor and nutrient scavenger.

The total acres of barley seeded in Montana in 2014 are reported at 940,000 acres, down from 990,000 acres planted in 2013. Montana currently ranks first in planted barley acreage in the United States. Haybet has been the top forage barley variety seeded for the past 15 years. Montana farmers planted 73,900 acres, accounting for 7.9 percent of the total acres of barley seeded in 2014.

More information on the new variety’s forage and grain performance is available by visiting the MSU Technology Transfer Office website’s agriculture technologies page - http://tto.montana.edu/tech/ag.html - and clicking on “MT981427 data sheets.”

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Currently, MSU has 257 licenses from technologies developed by faculty and researchers. Of those, 75 licenses are with Montana companies.

For additional information on this variety, contact David Wichman at the Central Ag Research Center, 406-423-5421 or dwichman@montana.edu . For licensing inquiries contact Gary Bloomer with the TTO, 406-994-7483 or gary.bloomer@montana.edu .

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