Barley variety Hindmarsh will no longer be segregated for the 2018/19 harvest as part of the barley rationalisation plan being undertaken by the Grains Industry Association of WA (GIWA) barley council.
About 45 industry members, growers and the council met last week to discuss the plan which would see a reduction in barley varieties segregated during harvest.
The long-term aim of the council is to rationalise the number of varieties segregated to two major varieties per port zones, with limited segregations on offer for minor, new or niche malt varieties.
GIWA barley council chairman and Beaumont grower Lyndon Mickel said while Hindmarsh would remain classified as a Food Barley variety, growers would have to either accept a downgrade to Feed when delivering or liaise directly with a marketer to organise other delivery options.
He said there were seven barley varieties currently grown in WA, with the potential for another two varieties – Spartacus and Compass – to be accredited by March, 2018.
“The decision to rationalise the varieties grown is for a couple of different reasons,” he said.
“Firstly, if we can minimise the amount of segregations at CBH sites at harvest, it maximises the room available.
“Secondly, if we can get critical mass of a variety, it will help in the ability to market it and potentially in getting better prices for it too.
“It is a challenge – we want to maintain supply of good varieties while accepting new varieties that have better agronomic and malting features that the growers want.
“It’s not easy and we are never going to please everyone, but the better the varieties, the more chance of it staying around for longer.”
In the Geraldton zone, La Trobe and Scope will have limited segregation for both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 harvest.
In the western Kwinana zone Bass, Baudin, La Trobe and Scope will have varied levels of segregation, while La Trobe and Scope will be the only two varieties with segregation for the next two harvests.
In the northern Albany zone six malt varieties excluding Hindmarsh will have various levels of segregation.
In the southern area, there will be no segregation for Baudin and Scope in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
In Esperance there will be no segregation for Bass in the 2018/19 harvest and various segregation levels of Baudin, Flinders, Grainger and La Trobe.
Mr Mickel said he hoped to see the rationalisation plan promote discussions with growers about the varieties they grow.
“The Barley Rationalisation Plan is flexible and allows growers more input through further discussions at their local CBH Bin meetings prior to harvest, as to what varieties are segregated at their local site,” he said.
“The plan is essentially a guide and communication tool for the industry, getting growers to talk amongst themselves, to see what their neighbours are growing but also for growers to talk to CBH to give them the opportunity to plan better for harvest.”
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