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Spring Barley Varieties for 2022

22 December 2021

The spring barley list was consolidated considerably in 2021 with the main malting choices being Laureate and LG Diablo, both dual-purpose distilling and brewing varieties, and KWS Sassy, a distilling variety. Laurette maintained its market share last year and LG Diablo increased slightly. Laurette has moderate disease resistance – with similar ratings to LG Diablo and both are better than we were used to in now outclassed varieties like Concerto.

Fairing remains on the list as the only fully approved grain distilling variety. Looking ahead, SY Tungsten and Firefoxx continue to make progress as they are evaluated commercially for malting use. SY Tungsten has provisional approval for brewing and distilling, and Firefoxx has provisional approval for distilling only. Skyway, which has potential for brewing, was new on the list last year.

The winter barley list includes the two-row feed varieties, KWS Tardis, Bolton and Bordeaux, plus two new six-row hybrids, SY Kingston and SY Thunderbolt. The leading two-row feed choices includes LG Mountain. KWS Orwell  and Valerie are becoming outclassed.

The Scottish winter wheat list has increased again with several new entries suitable for the grain distilling market. The leading distilling varieties are LG Skyscraper, Elation and KWS Jackal, supported by the biscuit-making variety Elicit. It is LG Skyscraper that has really grabbed acreage. There are a few newer distilling varieties, Swallow, a soft feed variety, and soft-milling choices LG Illuminate, and LG Astronomer. RGT Stokes and RGT Bairstow make it on to the list as soft wheats  and are good for distilling. KWS Extase is milling wheat and has good disease resistance which is appealing but it suffered poor seed set at some sites.

A new entry to the list in 2021 was the spring feed wheat variety, WPB Escape. This year KWS Fixxum joins as a potential feed wheat (Group 4).  Mulika is the established group 1 variety.  KWS Cochise is a group 2 variety which is high yielding and has a large share of the acreage. Canyon and Conway continue to dominate the spring oat milling acreage.

Sixteen varieties were removed from the Scottish list in 2021 because of limited market interest, or low agronomic value. These were spring barley varieties Concerto, RGT Asteroid, Propino and Scholar; winter barleys KWS Cassia, KWS Creswell, LG Flynn, Jordan and Libra; winter wheat varieties Zulu, KWS Lili and Grafton and spring oats Firth, Yukon, Delfin and Elison.

Fiona Burnett and Steve Hoad SRUC, for the Farm Advisory Service

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