Dictator 2

Forage barley

  • Extremely vigorous growth
  • Early feed
  • Extended planting window
  • Tolerates multiple grazings



Dictator 2 is the newest specialty forage barley from the leading forage development program at Barenbrug.  It is has been developed to replace the original Dictator which was widely used until around 2010.

It is an awnless (hooded) 2 row barley with a dark coloured seed, medium green foliage and a medium height at maturity. It is suitable for grazing, silage and hay production in most Australian production zones.


Key Benefits

  • 15-20% yield over-all advantage over older varieties
  • Improved early vigour and cool-season yield
  • Finer stems and improved palatability
  • Excellent recovery from grazing
  • Less prone to lodging due to shorter stature and more even maturity.



  • Quick feed when early autumn sown
  • An excellent option for April-July sowing when it is getting late for ryegrass or other pasture options
  • A break crop as part of a pasture renovation program
  • May be used in a mix with other species for specific outcomes, although has excellent feed quality attributes when sown as a sole variety
  • Grazing, silage and/or hay.


Advantages over alternatives

  • Higher yield than Dictator or Moby
  • Similar or better early vigour than ryecorn.
  • Higher early season (winter) yield than grain or dual-pupose grain & grazing cereals.
  • Superior feed quality to other forage cereals
  • Awnless, so suitable for hay production or grazing as standing feed.


Variety Management / Agronomy

Suited to no-till and cultivated sowing.  Can utilise similar herbicide techniques as per conventional barley; pre-emergence options may be useful in some circumstances.  Fertiliser requirements are similar to that for other cereals and grass pastures.  A sowing depth of 20 to 30mm is recommended. Sowing deeper than 40mm may result in reduced emergence.


Sowing Rates      

Marginal dryland: 40 kg/ha

Good dryland: 60 kg/ha

High rainfall / irrigated: 85-100 kg/ha


Sowing Time       

Most suited:  April – June (Ideal time for 2-3 grazings + fodder production)

For fast autumn feed: Feb – April (Fast autumn feed, possible yield penalty for fodder)                        

Late spring areas: July – October   Excellent late season option for southern most areas.


It should be grazed once it achieves approximately 300mm in height. Early grazing is useful to encourage tillering and increase dry matter production. Repeat grazings are possible each time the crop returns to the desired height. To achieve rapid regrowth, grazing down to no lower than 75-100mm is recommended. If grazed below this point e.g. 30mm, regrowth will occur, but it will be much slower. The strategic use of nitrogen fertilizer will boost crop recovery, this coupled with correct grazing management will provide the highest yields.


Dictator 2 will tolerate multiple grazings until the production of the first node (Z31).  Like most other cereal varieties, Dictator will not regenerate after hay cutting once the plant has moved into its reproductive stage and the node carrying the head is removed by grazing or in a hay cut. A late sowing is capable of providing one grazing and moderate hay cut or one good hay cut.  The awnless characteristic allows complete grazing, irrespective of the time of season. If the plant runs to head it produces more palatable grazing, hay or silage than conventional awned barleys, without the associated problems of impaction of awns in the mouth and gut and damage to eyes.


It will also tolerate short periods of waterlogging without any significant reduction in production. But if exposed to lengthy periods of waterlogging in mid to late winter and early spring a reduction in production can be expected.