E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: United States & EU: Barley breeding cooperation may expand

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E-Malt.com News article: United States & EU: Barley breeding cooperation may expand
Barley news

The North Dakota State University barley-breeding program may be working with more European companies in the future, InForum reported on August, 11.

Representatives of two German companies visited the NDSU Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences (IBMS) and NDSU Research Extension Center test plots.

Representing Dr. J. Ackerman and Co. was Johann-Friedrich Strube, managing director of the family-owned barley-breeding company in Irlbach. Representing SAATEN-UNION GmbH was Matthias Kessler of Isernhagen. SAATEN-UNION GmbH is an alliance of seven German family breeding companies. Kessler manages the malting barley segments of SAATEN-UNION.

Richard Horsley, head of the NDSU barley breeding program, and Karen Hertsgaard, IBMS communications director, conducted tours of the IBMS and test plots. The group also attended NDSU Research Extension Center field days in Carrington, Minot and Langdon. Some of the European varieties in trials at the centers originated at Dr. J. Ackermann and Co., but are marketed by SAATEN-UNION GmbH.

"Kessler expressed an interest in partnering with us to more globally unite us in our malting barley breeding efforts and production efforts," Hertsgaard says.

Testing of European varieties by NDSU began in 2006 after discussions with the German trading and services company BaWa. That year, lines from the German breeding company Saatzchut Breun and two Danish companies were tested at two locations.

In 2007, testing was expanded to include barley lines represented by SAATEN-UNION. Since then, Horsley has been evaluating about 75 European lines each year, with approximately 45 from SAATEN-UNION.

When first evaluated, the European lines are grown at Langdon and Fargo. In subsequent years, promising lines are grown at Carrington, Fargo, Langdon, Minot, Williston and Sidney, Mont.

One European variety initially in the trials, Scarlett, is from Germany. It probably is the most widely grown variety in the world. Although Scarlett was added to the American Malting Barley Association's list of recommended malting barley varieties in 2008, little to none was contracted in North Dakota this summer.

"The goal of our evaluation program of European lines is to identify those that are better adapted to North Dakota than Scarlett and acceptable to U.S. malting companies," Horsley says.

14 August, 2009

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