There have been no new varieties added to the spring malting barley list for 2021, which was released on 18 February.

While malting barley growers may not receive a choice of variety, it is important to keep an eye on the agronomic traits to assist in management decisions throughout the season.

Gangway, Laureate and RGT Planet remain the three varieties listed and there have been a few changes to agronomic and quality traits.

Laureate and RGT Planet are now level on relative yield scores at 101, while Gangway is at 99.

Planet remains the tallest variety, followed by Gangway and Laureate.

There have been no changes to lodging, breakdown or ripening scores. Gangway still tops the list on these traits.

No changes were recorded on disease resistance scores.

All three are promising on resistance to mildew, while Laureate and Planet have a resistance score of 8 for net blotch and Laureate tops the list on rhynchosporium and brown rust.

There has also been little change to quality characteristics. Gangway is on top for hectolitre weight, while Planet has the lowest screenings at 2%.

It’s worth noting that all protein percentages were very high and well above distilling and brewing specifications.

Planet came in at 11.3%; Laureate was at 11.7% and Gangway was at 11.8%.