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Barley malting, feed varieties and sowing times

Varieties

(M) Varieties accredited for malting
(P) Variety protected by Plant Breeders Rights

Binalong(P)

A later maturing variety with high yield potential under favourable growing conditions. Binalong has excellent lodging resistance and is hard to beat in high yield situations. It is recommended for early and main plantings. As it has a smaller grain size than newer varieties, screenings can be an issue particularly on later plantings or dry finishes. A semi-dwarf variety, Binalong is short with excellent standability. Binalong is susceptible to the net form of net blotch and this should be taken into consideration. If seed is thought to be infected, seed treatment is recommended.

Dash(P)

A high yielding variety which shows good adaptation to high yield potential situations. Exceptional standability and good levels of resistance to most diseases. Best for early or main planting in good moisture situations. High susceptibility to spot form of net blotch is the main concern in growing this variety.

Fitzroy(P) (M)

Accredited for the domestic malting market Fitzroy is a medium to late-maturity variety with good levels of resistance to leaf rust and net form of net blotch. It is susceptible to powdery mildew and spot form of net blotch. Good standability is a result of it's semi-dwarf height and moderate straw strength. Fitzroy is best suited to early planting in high yield situations, irrigation and favourable rainfall. Good grain size and high yield potential make it a profitable choice but late planting should be avoided. Seed treatment using a systemic fungicide is recommended to assist in control of powdery mildew.

Gairdner (P) (M)

A West Australian bred malt variety. Good yield potential in high yielding situations. Moderately susceptible to powdery mildew and seed treatment is recommended. A good selection to gain access to the malt market and maintain a high yield potential. Good choice for malting and performs well on early plant.

Grimmett (M)

A reliable malt variety for Queensland and northern New South Wales but has been superseded for yield and disease resistance in most areas. Ability to maintain grain size and yield in stress make it worth considering in the more marginal western areas. Moderately susceptible to spot form net blotch and powdery mildew.

Grout (P)

Released in 2005, Grout is a very quick maturing feed variety with excellent yield potential and large grain size. Good resistance to powdery mildew and net form of net blotch. During the tough 2006 and 2007 winter seasons Grout has shown exceptional performance. It is recommended for all plantings in western New South Wales, western and central Queensland in more favourable eastern areas it is a good choice but on an early plant with good sub soil moisture it is expected that later maturing lines will have a yield advantage. In these eastern areas it should be definitely considered for later plantings and marginal moisture or double crop situations.

Kaputar

Kaputar is one of the quicker barleys on the market. It has a very plump grain and great yield for its maturity. It has consistently performed well in central Queensland. In southern Queensland and northern New South Wales it shows good to average performance with particular adaptation to later planting or more marginal areas. In some high yielding situations, Kaputar has shown severe lodging associated with brittle straw.

Mackay (P)

A medium to medium-quick maturity variety Mackay has great yield potential and good levels of stress tolerance. Good levels of resistance to net form of net blotch and powdery mildew but susceptible to spot form of net blotch. It has performed well in northern and western areas where moisture and time may be limiting. Also a good choice for short fallow or double cropping. Avoid early planting (before mid May) as it tends to go quickly to head if planted early. Mackay is a taller plant with vigorous early growth, which can result in a lush plant and pre-flowering lodging particularly on an early plant in soft growing conditions. This also makes it a good choice for a fodder or silage and grain option.

Skiff

An old favourite of many growers in northern New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland. Good reliable yield performance and excellent lodging resistance combine to make a reliable and consistent performer. It has been superseded for yield potential by later-released lines, but still seems to perform well on some soil types.

Tallon (M)

A malt accredited variety with good yield potential and a high level of disease resistance. It is best suited to high yielding, higher rainfall areas of the Darling Downs and border regions. Tallon has a limited acceptance into the malt market in Queensland only, and is likely to be discontinued formally as Fitzroy becomes viable.

New varieties

During 2006 and 2007 a number of new varieties were released across Australia. Most of these varieties have little application to the Queensland and northern New South Wales grain producing regions. However there a some which are certainly worth evaluating further. Seed will be limited for 2008 but more will be available in 2009.

Fleet (P)

A quick maturing large-grained variety with good disease resistance. Released as a feed only variety from the southern node of BBA Fleet is not being evaluated for malt. Performance in NVT and other trials indicates it has very good yield potential. The only concern is that it is a tall plant and has demonstrated weaker straw than other quick maturing material in some environments. Certainly worth comparing with other quick varieties such as Grout or Kaputar. Marketed by ABB Seeds.

Hindmarsh (P)

A release from the former Victorian barley program, Hindmarsh is a medium-quick maturity line with very good yield and large grain size which seems to perform well in tough environments. Hindmarsh is under going commercial malt evaluation but will not be accepted for malting in 2008/09. Marketed by AWB Seeds.

Roe (P)

Another quick maturing feed-only variety with excellent grain size demonstrated yield potential in the region, but data to date is only from a limited number of trials. Roe will be more widely trialled in 2008 and further information on its adaptation will be available prior to commercial seed availability in 2009/10. Look out for Roe in trials.

Sowing times

Recommendations for planting time by variety
Variety Planting time
Early Main Late
Binalong *** **  
Dash *** ***  
Fitzroy *** ***  
Grimmett * *** **
Gairdner *** ***  
Grout * *** ***
Kaputar * *** ***
Mackay * *** **
Skiff *** ** *
Tallon ** ** *

(*** - most suitable)

Issues to take into consideration for determining planting time

At flowering barley can tolerate a 1°C lower frost than wheat. But a frost of -4°C at head height during flowering can cause between 5-30% yield loss. A frost of -5°C or lower at head height can cause 100% yield loss.

  • early planting generally has higher yield potential
  • planting too early can result in the crop running quickly to head if conditions are warm and lush in late autumn and early winter
  • hot, dry temperatures during spring can reduce grain fill period and affect yield and grain size
  • a strongly negative SOI (southern oscillation index) is considered an indicator of late frosts.

Later planting and later flowering generally results in declining yield potential due to higher temperatures furing grain fill.Suitability of varieties to different planting areas for feed grain production

  Binalong(P) Cowabbie Dash Fitzroy Gairdner(P) Grimmett Grout Mackay(P) Kaputar Skiff Tallon
Central and Southern Downs *** ** *** *** *** * *** *** ***   ***
Western Downs and Maranoa ** *   * * ** *** *** *** ** **
Central Queensland *      ** *** *** ***   *
Goondiwindi and border districts *** ** *** *** ** ** *** *** ** ** **
North western slopes New South Wales
(Warialda - Inverell)
*** ** *** *** ** ** ** *** * ** **
North West Plains (Moree - Narrabri) *** * ** ** ** ** *** *** ** ** *
Liverpool Plains and Tamworth *** ** ** *** ** * ** *** * **  
Coonabarabran *** * * ** ** * ** *** * *  
Coonamble ***    *   ** *** *** *** **  

(*** - most suitable)

Maximising returns - Malting

Only varieties accredited for malting can be sold into the malt market. There are two malt houses situated in Queensland. One operated by Joe White Malting at Redbank in Brisbane and the second in Toowoomba operated by Barrett Burston. In northern New South Wales there is one malt house situated in Tamworth. Each malt house has differing requirements for varieties and quantities, depending on the brewery they are supplying.

Not all varieties accredited for malting will have segregation in your local area. Confirm or register your crop with Graincorp to ensure the best possible segregation arrangement, or alternatively prepare to store the grain in on-farm storage until it can be dispatched directly to the end user. Cartage to a depot further away can add to the cost and may eat into any premium offered by the malting industry.

The following factors should be considered when growing barley to access the malt market:

  • suitability of the variety for the region
  • time of planting
  • available moisture at planting
  • yield potential
  • soil nitrogen status i.e. not high starting N levels
  • needs of the end users
  • place in rotation and disease potential
  • availability of seed.

Different customers utilise different malting and brewing techniques and therefore require varieties with specific quality requirements. As a result, not all varieties will be suitable to all buyers. The export market in particular often has different needs to the domestic market. The following table is an indication of buyer preferences.

Customer preferences for malting barley varieties in northern New South Wales and Queensland
  Domestic Maltsters Export
Queensland New South Wales
Tallon * X X
Gairdner ** ** **
Grimmett ** ** *
Fitzroy ** ** X

** = well accepted into market
* = limited acceptance in this market
X = not accepted into this market

Based on long-term averages 20-25 % of the Queensland - northern New South Wales crop makes malting quality. Demand for malt quality grain from the domestic industry is approximately 120,000 mt. Once this tonnage has been reached any malt quality grain must be sold to the export market to achieve malting prices.

After sowing there are four major environmental risks for producing malting quality:

  1. moisture stress pre-heading (i.e. August to September) - which can reduce yield
  2. late spring frosts
  3. moisture stress post flowering will reduce yield, decrease grain size and increase protein
  4. harvest rain, which will reduce quality and may cause pre harvest sprouting.

Agronomy tips

  • Plant as early as possible
  • Plant into good moisture conditions
  • Aim for a plant population of 100 -150 p/m2
  • Use good quality treated planting seed
  • Soil test and fertilise to achieve protein of 10-11 % (dry basis)
  • Malting barley only requires approximately 40 % of the nitrogen needed to grow prime hard wheat
  • Good levels of P are also important
  • Harvest as soon as possible

New malting varieties

There are a number of newly released malt varieties in Australia (e.g. Flagship, Buloke, Ulamingh, Baudin) which are unsuitable for the Queensland market. There is unlikely to be segregation for these varieties in Queensland or northern New South Wales.

Maximising returns - Feed barley

Demand for barley as a feed grain in Queensland and northern New South Wales is high. Both the expanding beef feedlot industry and pig industry are major consumers and demand often exceeds supply.

Quality requirements for the feed-grain market include a plump grain with high energy (starch) and low screenings. Price dockages are made for level of screenings and hectolitre weight. These are also important specifications in the malt industry. Therefore malting accredited varieties such as Grimmett, Fitzroy, Tallon and Gairdner are also suitable for the feed market. However they may not have the yield potential or disease resistance as varieties which are not accredited for malting.

The major determination of profitability for feed barley is yield. To maximise yield it is important to ensure that the crop has every chance to succeed.

  • Select a suitable variety for your planting time and area; taking into consideration yield potential and any disease risks. Net blotch and powdery mildew are the two most likely diseases for which resistant varieties can improve crop reliability.
  • Ensure planting seed is of good quality; test the germination if you are at all concerned.
  • Treat seed with appropriate fungicidal dressing; smuts, net blotch and spot blotch may be seed borne and some seed treatments can help with control. Some early control of powdery mildew can be achieved with seed dressings.
  • Plant into good soil moisture and keep plant populations up. Recommended population for maximum yield potential is 100 p/m2 or 1,000,000 p/ha. To achieve this, planting rates of 40 - 60 kg/ha are likely. It will depend on the number of seeds per kg and estimated establishment. For example if the seed count is 25,000 seeds per kg to get 1 million seeds you need 40 kg. Plant populations of below 800,000 p/ha are likely to have reduced yield potential and provide less weed competition.
  • Use adequate fertiliser but do not over fertilise as this will encourage excessive vegetative growth and could result in lodging. Phosphorus, zinc and sulphur levels are important as well as nitrogen.
  • Inspect crop regularly for insect infestation or diseases; consult your agronomist about potential control methods.
  • Harvest at 12 % moisture and store in cool dry conditions.

Barley variety characteristics

Barley Variety Comparisons 2008 (PDF, 82.1KB)

Non-foliar pathogens

Other diseases and pathogens
  Crown rot Common root rot RLN # Covered smut
Binalong 3 7 VT 2
Capstan 3 3 - -
Cowabbie 4 6 - 1
Dash 2 5 - 3
Fitzroy 3 6 - 1
Fleet 3 6 - -
Gairdner 2 5 MR 3
Grimmett 4 6 T/R 1
Grout 4 4 - 2
Kaputar 2 1 T 3
Mackay 3 6 VT/MR 3
Schooner 3 1 MR 9
Skiff 4 1 VT/R 2
Tallon 2 5 - 3
  • 1 = very susceptible 9 = resistant
  • # Root-lesion nematode tolerance applies to Pratylenchus thornei and not to P. neglectus.
  • Tolerance refers to the plant's ability to sustain yield in high nematode soils. Resistance refers to the inability of nematodes to continue to multiply.
  • VT = very tolerant, T = tolerant, R = resistant, MR = moderately resistant

Variety yield comparisons

Results are expressed as average yield t/ha across the sites which are divided between high yielding (over 4 t/ha) and low to moderate yielding (up to 4 t/ha). Results are also expressed as a percentage of Grout. Note that Grout demonstrates its reliability in the up to 4 t/ha sites with exceptional performance. However in the higher yield sites, Grout still yields very well but does not have the same yield potential as later maturing lines. Thus in early plant, good sub-soil moisture conditions and a later maturing line may be a better choice.

Relative performance of varieties in DPI&F trials from 2004-2007
Variety Av trial mean <4t/ha Av trial mean >4t/ha
Yield (t/ha) % of Grout Yield (t/ha) % of Grout
Grout 2.56 100.0 4.45 100.0
Fitzroy (M) 2.32 90.6 5.00 112.6
Kaputar 2.43 95.0 4.57 102.8
Mackay 2.31 90.4 4.81 108.3
Skiff 2.36 92.1 4.61 103.8
Cowabbie 2.31 90.4 4.68 105.2
Binalong 2.23 87.2 4.74 106.7
Grimmett (M) 2.20 85.9 4.37 98.3
Gairdner (M) 2.11 82.6 4.65 104.7
Tallon (M) 2.15 84.2 4.25 95.6

(M) = malting variety

Sowing times

Recommended planting times for varieties
   Planting Time Weeks
   April May June July
   2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Darling Downs
Dalby Fitzroy, Dash, Gairdner, Binalong   A A B B B C C C D      
Tallon, Grimmett, Mackay     A A B B B C C C D D   
Grout, Kaputar      A A B B B C D D D   
Warwick Fitzroy, Gairdner, Binalong, Dash      A A B B C C C C D   
Tallon, Grimmett, Mackay       A A B B C C C C D  
Grout, Kaputar        A B B C C C C C D
Pittsworth Fitzroy, Gairdner, Binalong, Dash      A A B B C C C C D   
Tallon, Grimmett, Mackay       A A B B C C C C D  
Grout, Kaputar        A B B C C C C C D
South West Downs and Maranoa
Goondiwindi / Roma Fitzroy, Gairdner, Binalong, Dash   A A B B C C C D       
Tallon, Grimmett, Mackay    A B B C C C C C C D    
Grout, Kaputar     A B B C C C C C C D   
Western Downs
Miles Fitzroy, Gairdner, Binalong   A A B B B C C C C D     
Tallon, Grimmett, Mackay    A A B B B C C C C C D   
Grout, Kaputar     A A B B C C C C C C D  
Dawson Callide
Biloela Fitzroy, Gairdner, Binalong   A A B B C C C C D      
Tallon, Grimmett, Mackay    A A B B C C C C D     
Grout, Kaputar     A B C C C C C C D    
Central Highlands
Emerald # Fitzroy   A A B B C C C C D      
Tallon, Grimmett, Mackay    A B B C C C C C D     
Grout, Kaputar     A B C C C C C D     

A = earliest recommended planting time and a high risk (20-50% chance) of a -4oC and up to 30% chance of a -5oC frost.
B = medium risk (10-20% chance) of -4oC frost.
C = low risk (less than 10%) of a -4oC frost.
D = latest recommended planting date.
# Planting too early on the Central Highlands may result in the crop running quickly to head.

Early sowing can optimise yield potential and increase the chance of obtaining malt quality, however the risk of frost must be weighed against the yield potential. Barley can tolerate a 1oC lower frost than wheat. But a frost of -4oC at head height during flowering can cause between 5-30% yield loss. A frost of -5oC or lower at head height can cause 100% yield loss.

Issues to take into consideration include:

  • early planting generally has higher yield potential
  • planting too early can result in the crop running quickly to head if a warm dry late autumn early winter occurs
  • hot dry temperatures during spring can reduce grain fill period and affect yield and grain size
  • a strongly negative SOI (southern oscillation index) is considered an indicator of late frosts
  • later planting and later flowering generally results in declining yield potential due to higher temperatures and moisture stress during flowering.

Further information

Contact:

Hermitage Research Station

Phone: 07 4660 3611

Fax: 07 4660 3600