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Recommended List Update for Spring Barley growers in Scotland

Spring Barley
01.12.2021

The new AHDB Recommended List was released on 29th November, and although no new varieties with potential for malt distilling have been added, there is still good news.

LAUREATE, the biggest variety in Scotland with the highest level of purchases from maltsters, has had a fantastic year, yielding above its 5-year mean, showing that its yielding ability has not dwindled over the seven years it has been on the RL.  In fact, LAUREATE has shown over the years that it has consistently performed despite the different seasons, and that it still performs as well, if not better than some of the newer varieties.

Source: AHDB RL Annual yield 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

There are three varieties on the RL with Full or Provisional MBC approval for both malt distilling and brewing (LAUREATE, SY TUNGSTEN, LG Diablo) and a further two with Provisional MBC approval for malt distilling (KWS Sassy and Firefoxx).  SY TUNGSTEN has retained its position as the highest yielding variety with potential for malt distilling and brewing over a 5-year mean and has its highest yields in the North.  SY TUNGSTEN brings an improvement in specific weight over LAUREATE and earlier maturity than LG Diablo.  Currently with Provisional MBC Approval for both markets, SY TUNGSTEN is due to undergo its second year of large-scale pilot testing using grain from 2021.  Full MBC Approval for brewing and malt distilling is possible in June 2022.

There are four new spring barley varieties added to the AHDB Recommended List, three with potential brewing quality (Jensen, SY BRONTE and Spinner) and one for the feed market (Malvern).  Although there is no potential for the malt distilling market, SY BRONTE has many desirable characteristics for a feed option in Scotland.

Strong yields across all regions

Stiff straw with high resistance to lodging and brackling, giving it security on high potential sites and in difficult weather conditions

Robust disease profile and high untreated yields, which could bring flexibility for fungicide timings

Good grain quality and malting potential, with a good specific weight and low screenings

Syngenta recognise the huge importance of the Scottish malt distilling market and remain committed to breeding non-GN varieties suitable for malt distilling as well as brewing, with yield and agronomics to suit Scottish growers. 

Look out for the AHDB Candidate list for more!