Barley - Ishi


‘Ishi’ barley is a six-rowed feed barley released by the California Agricultural Experiment Station in 2005. The cultivar was selected from the cross of ‘UC 828’ by ‘UC 960’ by Lynn Gallagher at UC Davis in 1994. Ishi is meant to be sown in the Central Valley and surrounding foothills in November or December. 


A single F5 head row was selected, harvested, and placed into a preliminary grain yield trial as PYT99-A13 at UC Davis during the 1998/99 growing season. Subsequently the line was designated UC 1047 and placed into California statewide grain yield trials and tested for 5 years. Ishi is heterogeneous for rough and smooth awns, having less than 1% smooth awns. The spike is waxy and semi-erect. Kernel weight averaged 46.5 mg over 13 environments and was about one mg more than that observed for UC 933 and one mg less than for UC 937. The kernels are covered and the aleurone is transparent (non-blue) just like UC 933 and UC 937. The grains are long (>10mm), semiwrinkled, and without hairs on the ventral furrow. Rachilla hairs are long. Resistance to shattering is good and similar to UC 933 and UC 937. No reports of necking (head fall because of peduncle breakage) such as plagued UC 937 have been received but harvesting should be done in a timely manner because barley does not have the persistent standability that one observes for wheat.


Ishi is an intermediate statured semidwarf, averaging 33.3 in and is similar to UC 937 and one and one-half inches taller than UC 933., averaged over 32 location -years in Central Valley and Central Coast environments. For lodging resistance Ishi averaged between 4 and 14 % and was superior to UC 937 but similar to UC 933 over 20 environments where lodging occurred. For days to heading Ishi averaged 4 days earlier than UC 937 and 3 days later than UC 933 but for time to maturity all three cultivars were similar in 5 tests at UC Davis.


Ishi is moderately resistant to Barley yellow dwarf virus, powdery mildew, net blotch, and scald. Ishi is moderately susceptible to leaf rust which usually occurs too late to reduce grain yield. Ishi is resistant to pathotypes of stripe rust existing in the Central Valley of California as a result of the resistance acquired from UC 960.


In pre-2006 grain yield tests (10 trials) in the San Joaquin Valley, Ishi averaged 6,069 lb/ac which was 9% more than ‘UC 933’ and 12.4% more than ‘UC 937’. In the Sacramento Valley (10 trials), Ishi averaged 6,487 lb/ac which was 5.9% more than ‘UC 933’ and 12.6% more than ‘UC 937’. In rainfed environments (12 trials) Ishi averaged 2,796 lb/ac which was 91% of UC 933 and was similar to UC 937, indicating no advantage for Ishi in low rainfall, dryland situations. Over 26 grain yield tests from 2004 through 2007, Ishi was the highest grain yielding UC cultivar averaging 4,328 lb/acre. Test weight (31 location-years) averaged above 48 lb/bu and were not significantly different from those measured for UC 933 and UC 937. Over 23 environments from 2004 through 2007 Ishi averaged 49.8 lb/bu which was similar to the test weights observed for UC 933 and UC 937 but inferior to the early heading cultivar UC 969 (52.2 lb/bu) and ‘Tamalpais” hulless at 55.2 lb/bu.