The United Kingdom produces and is renowned for some of the best malting barley in the world. Helped by a well funded and successful commercial breeding programme, growers are able to take advantage of new varieties which boast some seriously good agronomic traits not to mention some extremely high yields.
With the gradual swing to spring cropping bought on by grass weed issues and the promise of high returns it is more important than ever to ensure that you grow the variety for your farm and more importantly for local markets and outlets.
Over half of the UK malting barley crop goes for distilling to make whisky and also to a growing number of craft gin distillers. The two leading varieties for this market have been Concerto & Odyssey, which are GN free varieties, a trait required by distillers. However Laureate (Concerto x Sannette) has all the credentials to become a top variety as it is dual purpose which means it can be used in brewing & distilling. Odyssey & Concerto will retain some domestic demand but both are now on the wain as these new varieties are introduced and the drinks sector becomes happy to accept them.
On the straight brewing front there are 3 main varieties to look at. Propino, Planet & Irina. All 3 have good credentials and perform well on the farm yet all 3 have the odd issue which can complicate marketing and lead to a loss of premium. Please speak to us to consider your options and which one will suit your farm situation.
Spring barley is a wonderful crop to grow and many farmers enjoy the challenge let alone enjoying the fruits of their labour. We have proved over the years that we can give some wonderfully accurate guidance on varieties and we have a splendid array of cutomers and buy back contracts to suit all parts of the UK and all growers, do please get in touch.