6 June 1997

New barley investment

NIAB has invested £100,000 in new equipment to help bring new malting barley varieties to the market earlier.

Malting barley breeders are often faced with difficult decisions on which promising varieties to take forward for further testing because of insufficient data at the critical time of autumn sowing, it says. NIAB has doubled the capacity of its malting laboratories to cope with more samples from the coming harvest.

"We hope this will assist the effective commercialisation of good varieties and provide a wider choice to UK growers," says Jon White, head of NIAB chemistry section.

"Some breeders are unable to screen all their material in time because of sheer volume and malting data are produced too late for decisions on autumn sowing. Our new facilities should enable us to screen over 1000 samples in the August-September period and provide breeders with reliable information on which to base their commercial decisions."

The new equipment will also help Continental breeders aiming at the UK market to gain access to laboratories capable of processing barley using UK methodologies. &#42