15 August 1997

Check your barley

MALTING barley growers could avoid unjustified crop rejections by getting grain checked before marketing.

Samples arriving at NIABs seed testing laboratory show some grain with apparent pre-germination is in fact profoundly dormant, says the institutes Jon White.

Dormant grain will often recover after storage and be acceptable to maltsters later in the year, he says. A £39 diagnostic germination test will differentiate between the two problems within two weeks.

&#8226 Sprouting in spring barley is evident in many crops from Hants to the south-west. Hot, humid weather provoked the chitting, even in standing crops, rendering them unfit for malting, reports Jonathan Arnold of Hants merchant Robin Appel. All varieties appear equally affected.