Spring barley variety Laureate has been given full approval for brewing and malt distilling use and Sienna and KWS Sassy have been given full approval for malt distilling use, following the spring meeting of the Maltsters Association of Great Britain (MAGB) malting barley committee.
Craft has been promoted to provisional approval 2 for brewing and Fairing has been promoted to provisional approval 2 for grain distilling. Chanson has been given provisional approval 1 for brewing, says MAGB.
Belgravia has been removed from the list for malt distilling and Olympus has been removed from the list (provisional approval 2) for grain distilling.
MAGB says that the award of full or provisional approval to a variety does not infer immediate acceptance for use by all malting, brewing and distilling companies. “Growers are advised to seek further information from their customers before sowing newly listed varieties,” it advises.
Full approval status in the brewing and distilling markets sees Laureate become the highest-yielding spring barley on the current AHDB Recommended List, says Syngenta seeds and seedcare campaign manager, Mark Bullen.
“Recent years have seen a yield gap between varieties for brewing and varieties for distilling,” he says. “The industry has definitely moved back to wanting single varieties suited to both markets, and Laureate puts growing for distilling back on a more equal yield footing with growing for brewing. It is a real breakthrough for growers.”
Added to the AHDB Recommended List in 2016, KWS Sassy attracted interest from commercial distillers and was taken into private trials as a potential successor to the industry standard, Concerto.
KWS Sassy showed its potential in a large volume trial in the north of Scotland managed by maltster, Bairds Malt. Commercial director Eddie Douglas said: “It performed well on farm with higher yields and with grain size and quality either consistent or better than the industry standard used as the control.
“Growers liked it and it was noted for being quick to establish and showing good tillering.”
Will Compson, KWS cereals product manager, welcomed the news that the IBD had given KWS Sassy full approval for distilling. “Growers and distillers have been searching for a successor variety to Concerto for several years and their patience has been rewarded: KWS Sassy is 12% higher yielding in the north, has lower screenings and a similar grain nitrogen content. We expect it to be very popular.”