FAIRING: the variety of choice for grain distilling
Understanding the specifications for the end market you are growing your spring barley crop for is critical; different varieties will need tailored nitrogen programs in order to achieve the qualities that are demanded. Varieties that are grown for grain distilling are almost all grown in Scotland.
Syngenta's FAIRING was specifically bred for this market. The overall agronomic profile of the variety makes it ideally suited, most notably for its grain N which is the highest on the AHDB Recommended List 2018/19. FAIRING is also the earliest maturing spring barley variety on the Recommended List with the highest resistance to Rhynchosporium available, both very useful attributes for Scottish growers.
Last year was a strange growing season for Spring Barley, with very dry periods with nitrogen not utilised in many cases, so choosing a variety with inherently higher grain N is advisable if growing for the grain distill market.
Source: Frontier trials mean H2016/17 (4 locations over 2 years)
As you can see in the graph above, FAIRING yields competitively without compromising quality and Grain N responds well to higher amounts of nitrogen being applied to the crop. There is no clear benefit of a three way split over the two way split, so this can be managed according to work load and preference.
Total N applied should be in line with the end use contract but we would advise not cutting back on N inputs due to last years' dry period. Consult an agronomist when calculating nitrogen rates and timings. You should also work within any DEFRA guidelines and restrictions.