THE first step in setting malt barley receival recommendations for the Western Australian 2020/2021 harvest took place at an industry forum last week.
A large cross section of the grain industry, from growers to consultants, grower and farm lobby group representatives, grain marketers, bulk handlers and maltsters gathered at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) headquarters in South Perth to take part in the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia's (GIWA) Barley Rationalisation Meeting.
From the process, the GIWA Barley Council works with the bulk handlers to provide this industry consultation annually as a precompetitive 'industry good service' for the whole WA malt barley industry supply chain, where the supply chain has an opportunity to review malt barley market feedback, discuss and plan for new malt barley varieties coming into the bulk handling system, rationalise old malt barley varieties out of the system and problem solve about the rationalisation process.
The session was run by DPIRD senior researcher Blakely Paynter and GIWA Barley Council chairman and Esperance grower Lyndon Mickel.
In total there were seven malt barley varieties listed and worked through with these being, Bass, Baudin, Flinders, La Trobe, Scope, Spartacus and Planet, also noting that the variety Banks is in the second stage of accreditation with Barley Australia's MBIBTC due for decision in September 2019.
There were four options (yes, limited, niche and no) listed for each of the seven varieties, within each port zone, based on market demand and area grown.
If a variety was a recommended variety for a production zone it would receive a yes, if there were limited segregations likely due to low production hectares, limited market demand, a new variety going through market development or the phasing out of an old variety it was listed as limited.
Niche was attributed to a variety that was subject to availability.
Niche segregation was only available if a marketer had sufficient tonnage to supply a domestic or international customer.
Marketers will need to contact CBH to negotiate a niche segregation and growers would need to contact their preferred marketer for availability.
If a variety has been phased out or marketers were not looking to accumulate this variety in that production zone, it received a no.
Those involved were reminded that the rationalisation process results in a malt barley variety guide for two harvests out.
It is only a guide, produced to assist growers in their segregation planning discussions at local bin meetings.
Through the rationalisation process GIWA works with CBH and Bunge to help provide guidance to growers as to what segregations might be offered within each port zone at an area and a site scale, rather than just a port zone scale.
GIWA also noted that it facilitates the industry-wide consultation on an annual basis but has no control over the actual segregations provided by CBH or Bunge.
In terms of Baudin, it was foreshadowed that segregations for this variety would be phased out for the 2020/21 harvest and thus it was listed as a no across all port zones.
The initial discussions about Bass related around keeping it at a similar level as this coming harvest where it wouldn't be grown in the Geraldton and Kwinana North East zones, but it was a variety suited to the Kwinana North West and South zones and would be limited across the Albany zone and not a popular variety in the Esperance zone.
For this coming harvest, Flinders was listed in the Kwinana west zone as a niche, a limited in Albany north, a yes in Albany south, a niche in Esperance and no in the remaining zones.
The rationalisation meeting recommended to keep it as a niche in Kwinana South, a no in Albany north and a yes and a niche in Albany south and Esperance respectively.
In terms of La Trobe, it was recommended to keep segregations in every zone except Geraldton.
The decline in the planting of Scope and reduced market demand was forecast to continue for next year's programs.
While it was listed as limited in the Kwinana zone and Albany north, the rationalisation process listed it as niche only in those zones for 2020/2021.
Increased plantings of Spartacus were forecast to continue with every zone listed as a yes, while Planet was listed as a no in Geraldton and Kwinana North East, limited in Kwinana North West and yes in Kwinana South.
It was also listed as limited in Albany North, and yes in Albany South and Esperance.
Following the meeting, GIWA chief executive officer Larissa Taylor thanked those involved for their time.
"Spending time doing this makes our supply chain more competitive and the benefits flow back onto all our balance sheets," Ms Taylor said.
"This is a first draft and we should have this process worked through with the GIWA Barley Council, stakeholders and bulk handlers by the third or fourth week of August."