Extension and Ag Research News


Changes Made on Recommended Malting Barley Varieties

Malting barley growers are encouraged to contact their local elevator, grain handler or processor to gauge market demand for varieties grown in the region prior to seeding.

The American Malting Barley Association Inc. (AMBA), a nonprofit trade association of major U.S. malting and brewing companies and a member of the North Dakota State University Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences (IBMS), has announced recommended malting barley varieties for the 2009 growing season.

Foster and Stander, six-rowed varieties, have been dropped from last year’s list. Rasmusson, a six-rowed variety developed at the University of Minnesota and named in honor of Donald Rasmusson, retired barley breeder, has been added.

Another addition is Charles, a two-rowed winter variety developed by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility in Idaho. Charles is named after the late Charles Murphy, USDA-ARS plant breeder. This is the first winter malting barley variety to be added to the AMBA recommended list.

The recommended two-rowed varieties for 2009 are AC Metcalfe, CDC Copeland, Charles, Conlon, Conrad, Craft, Harrington, Merit and Scarlett. Recommended six-rowed varieties are Drummond, Lacey, Legacy, Rasmusson, Robust, Stellar-ND and Tradition.

Malting barley growers are encouraged to contact their local elevator, grain handler or processor to gauge market demand for varieties grown in the region prior to seeding. The development of malting barley varieties in the U.S. is the result of efforts by both public and private breeding programs. Public programs are at both state and federal institutions, with AMBA funding development work at many of these locations.

“The association has provided more than $2.5 million in barley research funding in the last five years,” according to Mike Davis, AMBA president.

AMBA also helps coordinate the activities of the National Barley Improvement Committee (NBIC), which represents the entire U.S. barley community, such as growers, researchers and end users. The NBIC works to secure federal support for barley research and breeding. This federal support is critical to barley improvement and includes research on disease resistance, genomics, drought tolerance and end-use quality.

In the early stages of developing a new variety, breeders begin testing their experimental lines for agronomic characteristics, such as yield and disease resistance. Later, malting quality tests are conducted on lines developed by public-sector breeders at the Agricultural Research Service’s Cereal Crops Research Unit (CCRU) in Madison, Wis. The CCRU analyzes several thousand lines each year for a number of quality factors as concurrent agronomic trials are continued in both state and regional nurseries by the breeders.

In the later stages of development, lines are submitted to the AMBA, which coordinates testing by its member companies in a two-stage process. After two years of satisfactory testing in pilot malting trials, selections are eligible for commercial-scale malting and brewing evaluations. After successful commercial trials, malting varieties are added to the AMBA recommended list.

The NDSU IBMS seeks to provide reliable, high-quality, targeted research, outreach and education for U.S. barley producers and domestic and international malting and brewing industries at a single site.

The IBMS board of directors also includes representatives from producer groups in Idaho, Montana and North Dakota, as well as Rahr Malting Co., Malteurop North America Inc., Anheuser-Busch Inc., Cargill Malt and MillerCoors Brewing Co. More information about the IBMS is available at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/ibms/.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Karen Hertsgaard, (701) 231-8063, karen.hertsgaard@ndsu.edu
Source:Mike Davis, (414) 272-4640¸ mpdavis@execpc.com
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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