Malting barley variety trials 1988-1990


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
01 September 1987 - 31 August 1990
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
AHDB sector cost:
£102,778 From HGCA (Project No. 0056/2/87)



About this project


The main objective of the project was to assess the yield and malting performance of a selection of winter and spring barley varieties grown in typical malting barley situations throughout the UK. Micro-malting tests were conducted at NIAB and samples were made available to the Brewing Research Foundation. The varieties chosen were those currently grown, or showing promise for the production of malting barley. The performance of the varieties in the malting trials series would also be compared to the performance of the same varieties grown in the NIAB Recommended List trials. This was to try to determine whether the relative performance of the varieties changed under the two different regimes.

A second objective was to provide an evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of malting barley production over the trial period by managing selected varieties under both a malting and feed fertiliser regime.

Although the results from spring barley trials were affected by the serious summer drought conditions of 1989 and 1990, some useful observations can be made from the project as a whole:-

1. There were no significant differences between the relative yield performance of varieties in the malting series and the same varieties in the full Recommended List series.

2. It was possible to produce a similar number of samples suitable for micro-malting (ie high hot water extract, low nitrogen content) from the small number of specialist malting trials and from the larger 'general purpose' Recommended List series.

3. While hot water extract and nitrogen content levels differed between the two series, the relative performance of varieties was largely the same in both series.

This project was valuable in showing that it is most unlikely that varieties bred for the production of malting barley are penalised by the current trials system. This will help to increase confidence in the value of the barley Recommended Lists.