NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

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Online barley ID program launched

19 March 2010

Barley id logoEnsuring a load of barley is the correct variety will be faster and easier with the launch of a new interactive web-based identification program.

‘Barley-id’ has been developed by NIAB and is available as a subscription service to anyone involved in the transport, trading, marketing and processing of barley where varietal identity is essential. It will also be used as a training tool in NIAB’s grain ID workshops and courses.

NIAB technical manager and program developer Tony Chapman explains ‘Barley-id’ will underpin a user’s own skills and knowledge. “Staff in labs and grain stores currently rely on a paper-based detailed identification process across four or five different sheets of paper, with variable skill levels in recognising the grain characters that identify a variety.”

‘Barley-id’ currently covers 54 spring and winter barley varieties, including everything on the HGCA Recommended List, and some National List and Common Catalogue varieties. The program will be updated as soon as new varieties come onto the market.

“With all the traits available on one screen ‘Barley-id’ allows the user to simply select the most obvious recognisable traits, narrowing down the variety search at each step. Multiple selections within a character can be made so the process is quick,” says Mr Chapman.

Nicky Lockey, QA Manager at Frontier Agriculture believes the user-friendly ‘Barley-id’ is a much needed tool for the industry. “At last the job of identifying unknown varieties, or confirming characteristics of named varieties, will be so much easier. Second only to having the variety name stamped on each grain, ‘Barley-id’ is the next best thing for helping anyone with the task of making decisions on whether to accept a certain parcel of barley.”