HSG Releases Claymore, Oreana

4 May 2016 – Moses Lake, WA

Just two and a half short years after acquiring barley genetics from WestBred/Monsanto, Highland Specialty Grains (HSG) is announcing their second and third varietal feed barley releases – Claymore, and Oreana.

Both feed barleys, Claymore and Oreana are significant improvements over other products in the same field, including Champion – which has been an industry leader for nearly a decade.

“Claymore and Oreana will be a great fit for any grower who is looking to improve yield and standability on their farm,” said HSG Barley Breeder Mike McKay. McKay, who has worked with Highland Genetics since the company bought out WestBred’s barley program in 2013, is enthusiastic about the release.

He has good reason. In trials from Almira, WA, to Tulelake, CA, Claymore and Oreana have seen outstanding results. In fact, Claymore has been the top-yielding feed barley in the Western Regional Barley Nursery trials in Tulelake for two years in a row. The variety has also impressed growers in Northern Idaho – in the 2015 University of Idaho Small Grains Report, Claymore was listed as the overall best-yielding feed variety with the lowest lodging score.

A mid-season variety, Claymore is particularly adapted to the Pacific Northwest, including parts of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, in addition to Northern California in the United States. But HSG believes that there’s a Canadian market for the variety as well, seeming well-suited for much of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. In discussing Claymore, Mike McKay emphasized its favorable comparability to lines like Xena and Champion. Claymore “has shown 5-10% yield advantage and much better straw strength with similar tolerance to Fusarium Head Blight as Xena.”

“I really think it’s a variety that’s following in the footsteps of Champion – high yield potential and incredibly broad adaptability,” said Bryce McKay, HSG’s Commercial Manager. “It’s an incredible opportunity to have a variety that has the potential to work for so many farmers in so many different geographies. It’s pretty exciting.”

Oreana, on the other hand, has been described as a more specialized variety, designed to work for growers who have been frustrated with barley in the past. “Champion has been a great variety for a long time, but one issue is that it can tend to lodge under high-fertility conditions,” said McKay. “Oreana has outstanding straw strength and height that combine into a really unique package of standability.” That standability is expected to be especially attractive to Canadian growers who have shied away from feed barley in favor of crops where lodging isn’t an issue, particularly in the brown soil zones in Western Canada.

Foundation and registered classes of seed for both varieties should be widely available in the spring of 2017 for associates, meaning that certified seed would be in the hands of growers in 2018.

Contact: Bryce McKay, 509.981.5989.