E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: UK: New malting barley variety Laureate emerges as a serious competitor to Concerto

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E-Malt.com News article: UK: New malting barley variety Laureate emerges as a serious competitor to Concerto
Barley news

The new malting barley variety Laureate has emerged as a serious contender for Scottish growers who are looking for an alternative to market leader Concerto, The Courier reported on January 13.

AHDB trials have demonstrated it is high-yielding and less susceptible to skinning than Concerto, although it is no earlier to ripen. It been awarded provisional approval for malt distilling and brewing by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), and plant breeders Syngenta are optimistic it will be given full approval this summer.

Speaking at a variety update in Perth, the company’s seed manager Samantha Brooke said the distilling industry was keenest on finding a new barley because they had less choice of varieties which had full IBD approval for malt distilling.

She added: “Laureate has produced excellent quality for both markets – with a high spirit yield for distilling and a high hot water extract for brewing. It has also performed well in both Scotland and England.

“It is the first variety to tick all the boxes for Scotland since Optic was launched 21 years ago.

“Agronomically, Laureate has shown low skinning and screening levels and has an excellent combination of disease resistance and untreated yield. For the second year running Laureate also has the highest untreated yield figure of spring barleys on the AHDB recommended list.

More than 14,000 tonnes of the variety, which is a cross between Sanette and Concerto, will be available to growers this season. Mrs Brooke said that demand for malting barley varieties was growing in the south as arable producers turned from growing wheat to spring barley.

“There is currently huge reliance on Concerto and the industry needs another variety to spread the risk,” she said.

”If growers sow it this year they would be taking a bit of a risk since the variety is not fully approved, but there will be contracts for Laureate in Scotland, so it’s not high risk. We’d say give it a try – put 20-30% of your crop into Laureate.”

The variety is also being developed across Europe in the hope it will give growers in the UK access to export markets.

13 January, 2017

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