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Managing T1 & T2 winter malting barley applications

Winter Barley

After a mild but wet autumn, and a cool frosty start to the spring, some winter malting barley is growing quite slowly, but one of the most advanced will be ELECTRUM.  As the joint earliest variety on the AHDB Recommended List, ELECTRUM is quick out of the block and will be one of the earliest winter barleys to reach stem extension.  This will carry through all its major growth stages; ear emergence and it will be one of the first winter barleys to be ready for harvest.

CRAFT has a more moderate maturity and may look a bit behind ELECTRUM at this stage, it has a ripening rating of +1, which is 2 days later than ELECTRUM, in practice this is more likely to be 2-3 days on farm.  In practice the gaps between varieties will be larger earlier in the season and catch up closer to harvest.  CRAFT is likely to be up to a week later than ELECTRUM to reach stem extension and a few days later to hit the growth stages for T1 and T2.

With little rain in April, a proportion of fertiliser has been sitting on the surface waiting to be washed in.  Many areas have now experienced a rain event, and growth could be fairly rapid once the nutrients get washed in.  CRAFT has the best straw strength of the malting barleys, but ELECTRUM will need well timed PGR applications to maintain yield potential and importantly grain quality.

Both CRAFT and ELECTRUM have very strong disease resistance profiles, with no rating below a 6 for all major foliar diseases.  However, it is advisable to monitor crops regularly to ensure fungicide applications are well timed to keep the crop healthy.  For T1 and T2 applications, the target for the spray is the top 2 leaf layers, so an element of penetration is needed to ensure good coverage into the canopy.  Syngenta recommend the use of Amistar nozzles to achieve the best combination of penetration and coverage, ensuring the spray application gets to where it needs to be.  For more information click here.

In 2020, ELECTRUM gained full MBC approval for brewing and now joins both CRAFT and FLAGON on the MBC approved list.  CRAFT is the most popular variety with maltsters, with a large number of contracts available across the country and support by the majority of UK maltsters.  ELECTRUM is supported by many of the major maltsters and will also have contracts across the UK.  FLAGON is a more specialist variety, popular in the East and most contracts will be located in this area of the UK.  It is advisable to check locally for preferred varieties in your area.