Highland Specialty Grains has a robust breeding program which develops new and improved varieties of barley for forage. We have varieties that are for general licensing by anybody in our network of seed dealers. We also work with associates to develop varieties specifically for their customers.

Our portfolio of forage varieties includes ‘Stockford’, which is a two-row hooded forage barley. Stockford has been a popular choice for many years. One of our newer varieties for general release is ‘Vaquero’. Like Stockford, it is a 2-row hooded variety. Vaquero is a few inches taller than Stockford with significantly less lodging. Vaquero is an excellent producer of quality forage. Redrock is another newer variety that is an excellent forage barley. Redrock is available only through Nutrien Ag Solutions. Eureka, Rampage and Pronto are excellent forage varieties that are available through Barkley Seed Company and its licensees.

For 2024, Foundation seed is available for Payback forage barley. Payback is a general release facultative 6-row hooded variety. Payback was developed to be an alternative to old 6-row forage varieties such as Westford and Bestford. It should yield better than both of those varieties in dryland environments. In environments with sufficient water and fertilizer, Payback is capable of producing tremendous yields of high-quality forage. It is a great choice for harvest as silage.

Highland Specialty Grains has 4 other forage varieties on the launching pad. One variety is a two-row spring planted, hooded variety, experimental number YU318-347. The proposed name for this variety is “Rockford”. Rockford has grain yield, test weight and maturity which is similar to Stockford. It is going to be a few inches shorter than Vaquero and Payback and an inch or two taller than Stockford. Forage yield has averaged about 6% better than Stockford. Rockford will be a good option for those markets in which grain yield and test weight is more important than forage yield. Foundation seed of Rockford will be available in 2025.

Highland Specialty Grains is getting ready to release two winter forage barley varieties in 2025. One variety is MLW319-740, which is a two-row hooded barley. It has excellent winter-hardiness for a barley and is comparable to Stockford in many ways. The second winter barley variety is MLW419-778, which is a 6-row hooded barley. It is a short, irrigated type. These varieties can be grown alone or in blends with other species such as triticale.

Also coming soon is a triticale variety, HSG 23. HSG 23 is an awnletted triticale that has excellent grain and forage yield. It has done well in trials when compared to a triticale such as Merlin. A limited amount of HSG 23 is available for planting in 2024. Please let us know if you would like to grow any of these new varieties.

Forage Varieties include