Heisel: Growers need to know the industry's needs
By MATTHEW WEAVER
The American Malting Barley Association has released its annual list of recommended varieties for farmers to grow.
"Really, if a grower is growing something not on our list, it's not real likely it's going to end up getting used by the malting and brewing industry, unless it's on a very small scale," said Scott Heisel, vice president and technical director for the association.
Most malting barley acres are contracted.
Growers need to know the industry's needs, Heisel said, and the USDA Risk Management Agency typically looks at the barley association's list before insuring for malting quality.
Heisel said the association bases its recommendations on quality testing and brewing trials. Varieties are selected for high yield and disease resistance.
"We know if they don't (have those qualities), the growers are not going to want to grow them," Heisel said.
For 2013, the association recommends the two-row varieties of AC Metcalfe, CDC Copeland, CDC Meredith, Charles, Conlon, Conrad, Expedition, Harrington, Hockett, Merit, Merit 57, Moravian 37, Moravian 69, Pinnacle, Scarlett and Wintmalt. Six-row varieties include Celebration, Lacey, Legacy, Quest, Robust, Stellar-ND and Tradition.
CDC Meredith, Expedition and Wintmalt are new varieties added to the list.
CDC Meredith is a Canadian two-row variety developed by the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan.
Expedition was released by Germany-based malting company Malteurop.
Wintmalt was developed by plant breeding company KWS Lochow in Germany and is the second winter variety added to the recommended list, following Charles.
Most varieties that make the list are typically spring, but Heisel said interest in growing winter types has increased in recent years.
"They do yield a little better, they work into growers' schedules a little bit better because they're harvested early," he said. They also use a little less water under irrigation compared to spring varieties. "We've been more interested as an industry in these winter types because we know growers are interested."
No varieties were dropped from the recommended list this year. Heisel said that happens as varieties get older, the industry loses interest or growers won't grow them due to poor agronomics.
AMBA is a nonprofit trade association representing U.S. malting barley users. The association recommends growers contact local elevators, grain handlers or processors to determine market demand for any variety grown in their region prior to seeding.
American Malting Barley Association: ambainc.org