Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 057 August-September 2005 - North
Barley 6 GROUND COVER AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2005 Barley to build national muscle n Australia's barley industry is entering a new era following the formation of Barley Australia, an independent, non- profit organisation designed to formalise and replicate existing alliances across Australia to make sure the industry remains a major international player. Established earlier this year, ahead of a new national barley breeding program, Barley Australia is wholly funded by seven companies involved in the bulk handling, storage, marketing and malting. The companies are ABB Grain Ltd, GrainCorp, Grain Pool and the four major maltsters Barrett Burston, International Malting Company Australia, Kirin Australia Pty Ltd and Joe White Maltings. David Thomas, formerly executive manager corporate relations with Ausbulk, is Barley Australia's independent chairman. Barley Australia's executive officer, Linda Price, says the central role of Barley Australia is to help increase recognition and international competitiveness of quality Australian barley. She says this will be achieved through variety accreditation and trademarking, dissemination of end-user quality requirements and the promotion and adoption of appropriate integrated quality- assurance checks in the supply chain. "The role of Barley Australia is parallel to that of Pulse Australia or the Australian Oilseed Federation and it has been dubbed the peak body for Australian barley," explains Ms Price. She says that when it comes to quality assurance, Barley Australia will be endorsing industry standards rather than imposing new standards. She says the stakeholders of Barley Australia cover the national interests of the barley industry, have strong relationships with domestic customers in the feed and malt markets and well- developed communication with growers. However, breeding is one link in the chain that is not directly represented in Barley Australia. The barley breeding programs now all come under the umbrella of Barley Breeding Australia. There will be a two-way link between Barley Breeding Australia and Barley Australia to ensure new varieties meet the malting and brewing requirements of the markets and the agronomic requirements of growers, so that barley remains a profitable crop choice. "Barley Australia will coordinate the dissemination of end-user and market requirements to Barley Breeding Australia," says Ms Price. Accreditation of malting barley varieties, so that each can be given a 'quality' trademark, is a primary objective for Barley Australia. Barley Breeding Australia sits over the three regional breeding nodes, which will develop elite barley lines. In the case of malting varieties, these will have met key quality criteria through the testing regimes covering both agronomic and processing performance. Elite malting lines will then undergo commercial evaluation by the Malting and Brewing Industry Barley Technical Committee (MBIBTC). The committee establishes the commercial fitness of these lines for malt production and domestic brewing, and the brewing export consortium (BEC) carries out a similar evaluation for the export brewing markets. Data collated on the elite lines will be published by Barley Australia and made available to stakeholders. This single source of accredited data on each variety will help ensure that consistent messages are delivered about the quality and suitability of Australian malting barley for specific markets. From the growers' point of view, Ms Price says the establishment of Barley Australia will ensure continuing collaboration between all industry sectors, so the barley they grow and sell continues to be competitive. ∆For more information: Linda Price, 08 8385 8025, linda. firstname.lastname@example.org KEY POINTS n New peak body for barley industry n Initial focus on malt barley quality n Focus on international competitiveness FLAGSHIP MALTING BARLEY VARIETY SETS SAIL n Flagship, the latest malting barley variety released by the University of Adelaide, is living up to its name by its performance in the paddock, the malthouse and the brewery. Formerly known as WI3408, Flagship is a tall, early to mid-season variety, similar in plant type to Schooner or SloopA. It exhibits excellent early vigour and weed competitiveness and is suited to all southern malting barley districts, except those with highly boron-toxic subsoils. Flagship has acceptable resistance to lodging and head loss, but its key agronomic advantage over other varieties is the spectrum of disease resistance. Flagship is resistant (R) to cereal cyst cematode (CCN, eel worm) has moderate resistance (MR) to spot and net form net blotch and to scald, and is R/ MR to powdery mildew. It is susceptible to moderately susceptible to leaf rust, which is a slight improvement on Schooner and SloopA. In national collaborative trials in 2003 across Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland, Flagship yielded seven per cent more than Schooner, and has consistently yielded seven per cent above Schooner in six years of trials in South Australia. The physical quality of the grain -- its screenings, plumpness and test weight -- are similar to Schooner and SloopA but it is its chemical properties that will make it extremely appealing to the Asian malt and brewing market. Flagship exhibits outstanding malting quality, representing a significant improvement over all established Australian barley varieties. It is at least equivalent to the current elite European and Canadian varieties. "Flagship has been bred for the high- volume premium export markets across South-East Asia," says Jason Eglinton, barley program leader at the University of Adelaide. "FranklinA is the established benchmark for malting quality, and Flagship equals or outperforms it in all the key malting-quality attributes." The Flagship variety was produced under the Malting Barley Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP). It is an example of maltsters and end-users supporting the development of a variety that meets the agronomic requirements of growers as well as the market requirements. Dr Eglinton is keen to see Barley Breeding Australia retain this balanced perspective. He believes growers and agronomists must have a say in the development of new varieties. As leader of the southern node of Barley Breeding Australia, he will formalise this feedback process through state-based barley breeding objectives groups. Flagship has completed two years of farm- scale trials and plant-scale malting. This year, 11 crops have been contracted across southern Australia to provide malting companies with commercial volumes of malt to continue export market development across Asia. Next year, 200 tonnes of pure seed is expected to be available on-farm. Commercialisation is expected to be finalised in late spring. ∆GRDC Research Code UA00032 For more information: Jason Eglinton, 08 8303 6553, email@example.com Cooperation between all sectors of the barley industry has always been strong. The success of this cooperation is reflected in Australia's prominent role in the world's barley and malt markets KEY POINTS n Major advance in Australian malting barley n Broader spectrum of disease resistance n Best malt and brewing qualities yet The Australian barley industry has united behind a single marketing entity, Barley Australia, and a new national barley breeding program, Barley Breeding Australia (BBA). Together their aim is to double Australia's 6.6 million-tonne barley harvest by increasing average yields from two tonnes a hectare to 2.6t/ha, and expand the growing area from 3.3 million hectares to more than 5 million hectares by 2020. Foundation BBA participants include the GRDC, WA Department of Agriculture, SA Research and Development Institute, NSW and Victorian Departments of Primary Industries, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries and the University of Adelaide. To maximise positive outcomes, BBA is embracing a whole-of-industry approach, taking strategic direction from Australia's multi-billion dollar barley industry, which had a farm-gate value of $1.5 billion in 2004/05 and total value chain worth substantially more. The breeding program will take a nationally coordinated approach to breeding, establishing performance targets and deliverable outcomes. Three regionally- managed breeding nodes -- west, south-east and north -- are being established. BBA will be responsible for the development and release of new varieties, ensuring there are appropriate protocols and will endorse new varieties in consultation with Barley Australia. Emma Leonard reports on the new-found cooperation and some of the key areas of research.
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