LA TROBE and Flinders, two new barley varieties from the InterGrain and Syngenta collaboration, have been announced as malt accredited.
La Trobe has been accredited by Barley Australia following evaluation and testing conducted in association with the Malting and Brewing Industry Barley Technical Committee.
La Trobe produces high yields in low to medium rainfall areas while Flinders is well suited to the medium to high rainfall zones of WA.
From a quality standpoint, both La Trobe and Flinders have malting characteristics that are well suited to export brewing industries.
Syngenta head of cereals Australasia Craig Thompson said the announcement is a win for WA growers.
"La Trobe is a malting alternative to Hindmarsh that produces high yields in a broad range of environments, and growers will be well placed to receive malting premiums in coming seasons now that the variety has received accreditation," Mr Thompson said.
"Flinders poses as an appealing option for WA growers as an alternative to Baudin, Bass, Gairdner, Granger and Vlamingh and its premium malt qualities make it an attractive variety for Asian brewing industries."
The initial breeding of La Trobe commenced in 2006 and was conducted by the Biosciences Research Division of the Victorian State Department of Economic Development, in association with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
La Trobe has high malt extract, high diastase and high fermentability.
It also possesses excellent physical grain characteristics with good grain size, grain plumpness and has excellent test weight.
La Trobe has grain characteristics that are also well suited to the Shochu market in Japan.
It has moderately good straw strength, head retention and a high level of pre-harvest sprouting tolerance.
It has a similar disease resistance profile to Hindmarsh and offers good Powdery Mildew resistance (MR), Scald resistance (pathotype dependent) and Net-form of Net Blotch resistance.
InterGrain barley breeder David Moody said La Trobe represented the culmination of 10 years work to develop a malting quality version of Hindmarsh.
"La Trobe will provide an excellent option for growers in the lower to medium rainfall districts of WA seeking to grow a malting accredited variety," he said.
"The variety will enhance WA's reputation as a supplier of both excellent quality malting barley and malt."
Esperance and east Hyden grower Dave Cox last year grew a bulk up crop of La Trobe as an alternative to Hindmarsh.
"On our East Hyden block we were looking for something that would yield well in a low to medium rainfall environment and is also malt quality," Mr Cox said.
"Malt accreditation for La Trobe really makes it a no brainer over Hindmarsh and we will be planting commercial quantities of La Trobe this season."
Mr Cox said that La Trobe was also an easy variety to manage, with a good disease package and good harvestability, as the variety is very upright.
Flinders is a high yielding, medium to late maturing, semi-dwarf variety that offers good straw strength, lodging resistance and head retention.
It is Powdery Mildew resistant, has good Barley Leaf Rust resistance (MR) and is resistant to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV).
InterGrain barley breeder David Tabah said Flinders offered high levels of starch degrading enzyme levels, a key demand of the export market.
"Most overseas breweries use starch in their brewing process so higher enzyme levels are required to degrade the starch," Dr Tabah said.
"Flinders also offers excellent malt extract levels, higher than both Gairdner and Baudin, a characteristic which will have considerable appeal to both domestic and international malting markets.
"Importantly Flinders can be malted without the use of gibberellic acid (GA) making it an attractive option for premium beer markets requiring GA free malt."
Dr Tabah said Flinders was a very appealing variety in the western and southern Kwinana and Albany port zones due to its excellent yield potential.
Brookton and Corrigin grower Brad Nottle has grown Flinders for three years with results he said gives him great confidence in the variety moving forward.
"The past two years, yield-wise Flinders has performed very well, yielding 4.2t/ha last year," Mr Nottle said.
"Given Flinders is mid-to-late maturing and has good grain plumpless, this is a big benefit in years where we don't have a good finish.
"For the last few years our Flinders has been supplied domestic maltsters who tell me they have been very impressed with its malt quality."
Mr Nottle said that Flinders had a number of management advantages over other barley varieties grown in the region.
"Flinders' stubble is easy to manage, the crop threshes well and the general flow of grain through the header makes it a couple of kilometres faster to harvest than Baudin," he said.
"In terms of disease, Flinders has a really good package and as a result generally needs one less fungicide spray than Baudin.
"Last season there was a lot of rain and wind before harvest, but the straw strength of Flinders was really good and that was reflected in the very low percentages of lodging."
La Trobe and Flinders seed is now available from local resellers or Syngenta Seedgro members.
La Trobe is available for farmer-to-farmer trading and Flinders will be available for farmer-to-farmer trading for the 2015/16 harvest. La Trobe has an EPR of $4/t exclusive of GST and Flinders has an EPR of $3.80/t exclusive of GST.