New export malt quality barley named

Friday, 13 September, 2013

A new barley variety has been officially named at the Australian Barley Technical Symposium. The IGB1101, now officially named La Trobe, will reportedly improve export opportunities for Australian growers in medium to low rainfall areas.

La Trobe reportedly offers similar yields to Hindmarsh, which is the yield benchmark in medium to low rainfall districts, but with an improved malt quality. It was developed as part of an ongoing collaboration between Syngenta and InterGrain, and is owned by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DPI) Victoria.

According to Ben Miles, Syngenta Head of Cereals Australasia, the export malt quality of La Trobe provides an opportunity for barley growers in southern regions to capitalise on potential premiums for malting grain as well as reap Hindmarsh yields.

“The feedback we’re getting from maltsters is that there’s a gap in the market for a high-quality export malt variety that is adapted to these growing areas,” Miles said.

“We are hopeful that La Trobe will become an accredited export malt variety, providing growers with all the benefits of growing Hindmarsh, which they like, plus giving them full potential to access a decent malt premium.”

La Trobe is undergoing Australian Malting and Brewing Accreditation. “La Trobe has passed year one of the two-year accreditation process,” said InterGrain barley breeder David Moody. “Preliminary feedback suggests it’s progressing well in year two and we expect a final result in early 2014.”

Moody bred the grain from an old DPI Victoria breeding stable. It is a derivative of the elite DPI breeding line VB9409 and a high-yielding feed variety, Dash.

“The early maturing semi-dwarf variety has good straw strength, lodging resistance and head retention, plus excellent grain plumpness and test weight,” Moody said.

“La Trobe has a well-rounded disease package, similar to Hindmarsh, with a potential improvement in leaf rust resistance, due to the expression of adult plant resistance. It also possesses Cereal Cyst Nematode (CNN) resistance and exhibits a high level of pre-harvest sprouting tolerance.”

David Barlow of Barlow Agricultural in Jerilderie is trialling 260 ha of La Trobe. If yields and malting quality live up to promise, Barlow says he is keen to consider La Trobe.

“We’re looking for another variety and if the maltsters are interested in it, that’s what we want,” Barlow said. “We’ve got to grow what the maltsters want.”

Syngenta says La Trobe’s high yields and malt quality are similar to international benchmark Baudin, meaning that growers and agronomists should consider the crop for the upcoming season, particularly in medium to low rainfall areas, to take advantage of new opportunities.

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