16 October 1998

Spring malter on the rise

OPTIC is one spring malting barley which has come through a difficult season with flying colours, according to Tim Kerridge, Dalgetys seed manager for Scotland.

"It has been among the best varieties this year and will claim at least 20% of the market next spring," he told the annual Scottish harvest review in Perth on Monday.

The increased share would be at the expense of Chariot which had a disastrous 1998 with high screenings and low yields. "Only its past record will allow it to retain about 30% of the Scottish market compared with more than 50% this year."

Landlord has performed as badly as Chariot and he forecast that it would find little favour with growers next year. Prisma, however, had regained a lot of popularity, performing well in a bad season. Mr Kerridge said maltsters were reconsidering opposition to Prisma which had been based on low spirit yield.

The single newcomer for which Mr Kerridge forecast a bright future was Challis. "It has performed well and we look forward to the feedback from maltsters," he said.