MALTING BARLEY growers will have greater variety choice next autumn, following the addition of Flagon to the 2005 Home-Grown Cereals Authority‘s Recommended List.

While the variety still has some way to go, its entry onto the Recommended List is the first step to becoming fully commercially available, said Robert Hiles from breeder New Farm Crops.

“Flagon is currently undergoing Institute of Brewing evaluation, and some of the major maltsters have had the opportunity to test quite large quantities from this year‘s harvest.”

It is likely to be April/May next year before results of how the variety has performed. Provisional IOB approval would be in June 2005, with full approval the following year, Mr Hiles said.

In trials, the variety has produced grain nitrogen contents of 0.5-0.1% below the commercial standard malting variety, he said, adding that this could make it easier for growers to meet malting specification.

Flagon has also yielded well, producing a treated yield of 102% on the new list, four percentage points above the main winter malting variety Pearl, he noted.