A new variety of spring barley developed from ICARDA germplasm is promising Indian farmers higher yields and resistance to yellow rust disease – a significant and growing threat to crop production in South Asia, and globally. Barley is an important crop for India’s farmers: as an important source of food and feed, and in hilly regions, one of the main sources of subsistence for poor communities. However, barley farmers face a series of constraints – not least the limited availability of varieties with high yield, stripe (yellow) rust resistance, and adaptation to specific agro-ecologies.

VL Jau 118 was developed by a team led by Dr. Lakshmi Kant, Barley Breeder at Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan, Almora, an institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and released by the Indian Government’s Central Varietal Release Committee. The variety is broadly adapted under rainfed conditions across the northern hills in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir.

The variety was initially evaluated during the winter season 2007-08, in station trial at Almora alongside other selected ICARDA germplasm. VL Jau 118 has an average yield potential of 3084 kg/ha. It is a 6-rowed hulled barley and has shown an overall significant yield superiority of 8.2 percent over the latest hulled check UPB 1008 under rainfed timely sown conditions during the three years of testing (2009-10 to 2011-12) at 25 locations under All India Coordinated trials in northern hills zone.

Source: What's new at ICARDA