THREE newer malting barley varieties will take over as WA's main segregations for the 2016-17 harvest.
It marks a significant step forward to strengthen the State's barley industry in international markets.
The three will replace four older varieties which the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA) Barley Council has been phasing out over several seasons.
Recognised market leader Baudin, along with Buloke, Gairdner and Vlamingh varieties are being replaced in segregations.
After the coming harvest Bass will replace Baudin, Scope CL will replace Buloke, and together with La Trobe, will be the most common malt barley varieties segregated, according to the Barley Council.
Demand for Bass as an approved malt barley suitable for export as grain or malt has been growing in recent years, the council said last week in its WA malting barley variety receival recommendations for 2016-17.
Target production areas for Bass next year will be Kwinana, Albany and Esperance port zones.
Scope CL is suitable for export as grain or malt and its target areas will be Geraldton, Kwinana and Albany Port Zones.
La Trobe, also suitable for export as grain or malt, will have Geraldton, Kwinana, Albany and Esperance port zones as its targeted areas.
Bass and Scope CL are not suitable for the manufacture of shochu, a clear distilled spirit similar to vodka, in Japan like Baudin is, but La Trobe is currently being assessed for shochu production.
The Barley Council said Baudin, Buloke, Gairdner and Vlamingh production next year will go into feed stocks unless niche opportunities are created for supply to the domestic market for export as malt.
It acknowledged Baudin "is still the market leader".
Strong international market demand for Baudin as both grain and malt remained, it said, but declining production, primarily due to Baudin's susceptibility to leaf diseases, "will limit segregation opportunities" after the 2016-17 harvest.
Preferred malting variety for the WA craft brewing industry, Commander will ultimately replace Gairdner and Vlamingh but current low production will limit segregation to the Kwinana port zone in 2016.
The Barley Council has acknowledged Commander production will have to ramp up to meet demand.
New-to-the-market varieties Flinders and Granger will also have limited segregation opportunities in several port zones next year.
Food variety Hindmarsh will also begin to be phased out next year with limited segregation opportunities after the 2016-17 harvest.
Other malting varieties offered improved agronomic and processing capacities, the Barley Council said.
Geraldton, Kwinana, Albany and Esperance port zones are the 2016 targets for Hindmarsh.
GIWA Barley Council chairman and Lake King grower Steve Tilbrook said the receival recommendations were a guide for growers and consultants to help plan the 2016 barley cropping program.
They were produced in consultation with processors, exporters, breeders and Barley Council members.
"The barley industry has a long-term aim to rationalise the number of barley varieties segregated to two major malting varieties per port zone, with limited segregations on offer for some minor, new or niche malting varieties," Mr Tilbrook said.
"Our aim is to ensure that Western Australian barley remains competitive and the favoured option on the international market."
WA malting barley variety receival recommendations for the 2016-17 harvest are on the GIWA website www.giwa.org.au