A brand-new variety of barley has just been released, which should be of some interest to Western Australia’s crop farmers.

It’s called Litmus, and it was developed by Syngenta in association with InterGrain. David Moody, barley breeder from InterGrain, revealed in a September 12 statement that work began on Litmus in 2004.

The barley is acid-tolerant, which means it can grow in areas with highly acidic soil, and is made from a combination of three different breeds.

“It was selected not only for acid and aluminium soil tolerance but also for premium malt qualities, early maturity, strong straw strength and good grain plumpness,” announced Mr Moody.

He added that crop farmers with highly acidic soil have only been able to grow wheat in the past, as this generally has a “higher level of acid soil tolerance” than barley. Litmus is about to change all of that.

Richard Quinlan of Planfarm, who co-ordinated trials of Litmus back in 2011, said they showed “phenomenal yield improvements over other traditional barley varieties”.

He said that “growers facing serious resistance issues and problems with disease control should consider Litmus as an option”.

While you’re thinking about Litmus, you should also be considering your crop insurance options.

MGA Insurance Brokers can help you find the cover that’s right for you by sourcing quotes from a variety of insurance providers.

We will then explain to you what’s available and what might work for you and your business.

If you’re interested in other types of farmers insurance, we can help you to organise this as well.

There are a wide range of cover options, and it can sometimes be difficult to know which ones you need. MGA Insurance Brokers can assist you in identifying the risks associated with your business, and help you to organise insurance that will mitigate these.