27 July 2001

Cellar might be maltings holy grail

BREEDER New Farm Crops reckons its stable of new spring barleys contains both the next benchmark malting variety and rhynchosporium resistant types that will allow growers to cut back to one spray, even in Scotland.

Its provisionally recommended malting variety Cellar is set to overtake Optics 35% market share in two or three years and has pan-European appeal, says technical manager Simon Phillips.

"It is a European variety and that is what the market wants. This could be the Holy Grail that we have been looking for in a variety."

Yield is 3% higher than Optic, hot water extraction is better and it is earlier. Provisional IGB approval was granted in June.

"Maturity is comparable to Chariot, but it is not quite as early as Prisma."

Given a normal harvest and normal spring barley crop area next year there will be enough seed for 10% of the UK market. Rhynchosporium will need watching, as resistance is rated at only four.

By contrast new spring barley varieties with double nines or nines and eights for rhynchosporium and mildew resistance present a real opportunity to cut back to just one spray, timed at awns-emerging, says SACs Huw Phillips.

"There is the potential to delay to the ramularia spray, or reduce early dose rates."

New NFC variety Pewter could be grown under such a regime, Mr Phillips reckons. "It is the only variety with a 9 for rhyncho- sporium resistance." &#42