New Commodus CL barley is set to make its debut appearance in barley paddocks across the country this season following its launch as the newest, imidazolinone (IMI) tolerant, barley. The name, taken from the Roman gladiator Commodus, means “suitable, convenient or opportune”, and as a variety it is a very suitable fit for the medium-low rainfall districts with lighter soil types. Initially Commodus CL will only be received as a feed barley whilst its potential suitability for malting is evaluated over the next few years.
Commodus CL, formerly known by its breeding code IGB1908, was bred and developed collaboratively by InterGrain and Grains Innovations Australia (GIA). InterGrain and GIA have formed a strategic barley breeding partnership to enhance the delivery of market leading varieties to maximise grower value.
Dr Materne of Global Grain Genetics, the research division of GIA, a private breeding company developing innovative crop varieties says, “As the partnership releases new varieties and we help solve current grower and farming system limitations, we will be able to explore more of our novel, innovative ideas for a prosperous and sustainable grains industry.”
Commodus CL has been eagerly awaited by low-medium rainfall growers, and those farming on lighter sandier soils, as the variety offers good vigour and establishment capability in these soil types compared to widely grown Spartacus CL. InterGrain trials over the last 3 years, and NVT trials in 2020, indicate that yields of Commodus CL are very similar to Compass.
InterGrain Barley Breeder David Moody said Commodus CL is an exceptional variety to be adding to the company’s suite of IMI barleys as it provides growers with another high-yielding option for use within the IMI barley rotation, although offering an alternative plant type to Spartacus CL and Maximus CL.
“Grower interest has been strong due to their interest in an IMI tolerant variety with similar agronomic attributes to Compass. Demand has significantly exceeded seed supplies in its first season,” he said.
“As Commodus CL offers very similar performance to Compass, it is ideally suited to medium-low rainfall environments. It has a solid disease resistance package, including CCN resistance, the same strong physical grain quality characteristics of Compass, and good early vigour which will assist early crop establishment and weed control, particularly on lighter soils,” Mr Moody said.
With varietal interest high, InterGrain is continuing to assess the line’s malting characteristics for potential submission to Barley Australia’s Malt and Brewing Accreditation program.
Commodus CL possesses the Clearfield herbicide tolerance trait developed by Agriculture Victoria Services, which is currently exclusively licensed to, InterGrain.
Presence of the trait confers Commodus CL’s tolerance to registered label rates of APVMA approved IMI herbicides, offering growers the ability to control brome and barley grass within the barley rotation.
The Clearfield trait provides increased rotational flexibility when other IMI tolerant crops have been grown the previous year and where there are residue concerns. Commodus CL also provides the opportunity for effective control of conventional self-sown cereals within barley crops through the use of APVMA registered imidazolinone chemistry.
Whilst Commodus CL offers an overall effective agronomic package it is worth noting that the variety is considered to have a medium head loss risk and equivalent lodging tolerance to Compass and harvest management strategies should be considered in higher yielding seasons and or when harvest delays may occur to maximise varietal productivity.