Maltsters’ favourite spring barley variety to take top spot

Spring malting barley Planet is set to take over as the most popular variety in the UK this season mirroring similar expected success across the rest of Europe.

The variety favoured by the brewing industry is set to take 25-30% of the certified seed market this spring, up from 19% in 2017, and so is likely to topple the old brewer’s favourite Propino, which had a 23% market share last year.

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Planet yields 105% on the current AHDB Recommended List ahead of Propino at 100% and its consistency and quality is likely to see it take top spot among spring barley growers, says Chris Black, cereal product manager-international, at the variety’s breeder RAGT.

“For 2018, Planet will be the number one spring barley variety in Europe, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland and number two in Germany,” he told Farmers Weekly.

The European maltsters like the variety and it is being used by big European brewers such as Heineken and Carlsberg, while it could do well in Australia and the Ukraine to become a truly international spring barley variety, Mr Black added.