Neo provides step change for barley industry

08 June 2023

InterGrain is excited to announce the release of Neo, a new, unrivaled high-yielding Imidazolinone (IMI) tolerant barley variety. With its exceptional yield potential, outstanding disease resistance, and extremely promising malt quality, Neo barley is set to become a game-changer for Australian farmers in medium to high rainfall production zones.

Neo, formally known by its breeding code IGB22102T, offers a significant step-change improvement in yield, being 10% higher yielding than RGT Planet for growers in medium-high rainfall regions.

InterGrain Barley Breeder, David Moody, says Neo combines exceptionally high yield, with a very good disease resistance package and IMI tolerance, whilst possessing 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,” said David Moody.

“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,” David Moody said.

“Neo has gone from a cross to commercial seed in 5 years. As a comparison, InterGrain’s market leading Maximus CL took 8 years from cross to release, and prior to InterGrain’s inception, variety development routinely took more than 10 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,” said David.

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 CEO Tress Walmsley said InterGrain is thrilled to introduce Neo to the market which will meet the needs of growers as well as the entire supply chain.

“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 $45m 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 extremely strong and large-scale commercial seed production is underway across the country with our Seedclub members.

Growers can get in touch with local Seedclub Members or resellers to secure 2024 Neo seed now.

Neo is an InterGrain variety containing the Imidazolinone tolerance barley trait technology licensed from Agriculture Victoria Services (AVS) and was bred by David Moody and the InterGrain Barley Breeding team.

Neo breeder David Moody with WA Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; Small Business Hon Jackie Jarvis MLC, GRDC’s Peter Bird and Darrin Lee and InterGrain Chair Karlie Mucjanko celebrating the launch of Neo at Little Creatures, in Fremantle, WA. 

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Shannen Barrett
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