Malting Barley Variety Trial 2015 Results
Ellen Mallory, Tom Molloy, and Andrew Plant, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Twenty varieties of two- and six-row spring malting barley were trialed at University of Maine research farms in Old Town and Presque Isle in 2015 (Table 1). The trials were conducted in collaboration with nine other institutions from Indiana to Prince Edward Island as part of the Eastern US Spring Malting Barley Evaluation project, organized by North Dakota State University.
|AAC Synergy||2-row||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Brandon)|
|AC Metcalfe||2-row||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Brandon)|
|Bentley||2-row||FCDC† (Lacombe, Alberta, Canada)|
|CDC Copeland||2-row||CDC‡ (University of Saskatchewan)|
|CDC Meredith||2-row||CDC‡ (University of Saskatchewan)|
|Cerveza||2-row||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Brandon)|
|Conlon||2-row||North Dakota State University|
|Full Pint||2-row||Oregon State University|
|Harrington||2-row||North Dakota State University|
|Innovation||6-row||Busch Agricultural Resources, LLC|
|Klages||2-row||USDA-ARS Aberdeen, ID|
|Lacey||6-row||University of Minnesota|
|ND Genesis||2-row||North Dakota State University|
|ND22421||6-row||North Dakota State University|
|Newdale||2-row||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Brandon)|
|Pinnacle||2-row||North Dakota State University|
|Quest||6-row||University of Minnesota|
|Robust||6-row||University of Minnesota|
|Scarlett||2-row||Saatzucht Josef Breun GmbH & Co|
|Tradition||6-row||Busch Agricultural Resources, LLC|
† Field Crop Development Center
‡ Crop Development Centre
University of Maine Rogers Farm – Old Town, ME: The previous crop was buckwheat, and the soil was a Melrose fine sandy loam, with pH 6.2, and medium phosphorus and above optimum potassium levels. Solid dairy manure was applied on April 30 at a rate of 20 tons/acre and immediately incorporated. The field was prepared with a seedbed conditioner and planted at 1.3 million live seeds/acre on May 1 with a cone seeder (6.5 inch row spacing). Plots were tine harrowed on May 22 when the barley plants had approximately three to four leaves; and were harvested on August 6 with a plot combine.
University of Maine Aroostook Farm – Presque Isle, ME: The previous crop was potato and the soil was a Caribou gravely loam. Soil pH was 5.6. Potassium and phosphorus levels were optimum. Plots were chisel plowed on May 18, seedbed conditioned on May 21, and planted at 1.3 million live seeds/acre on May 21 with a small plot cone seeder (6.5-inch row spacing). Ammonium nitrate was applied on June 10 at 60 lb/acre of nitrogen. A combination of herbicides, MCPA Rhomene at ¾ pint/acre and Harmony at 1 oz/acre, were applied on June 26. Plots were harvested on September 2 with a plot combine.
Grain yields were relatively high at both sites, averaging 96 bu/acre in Old Town and 91 bu/acre in Presque Isle (Table 2). For comparison, the statewide average barley yield in 2015 was 85 bu/acre, and the 15-year average is 59 bu/acre (National Agriculture Statistics Service). The highest yielding varieties were ND22421, Quest, AAC Synergy and Robust. Scarlett and Harrington were the lowest yielding and also the most susceptible to leaf diseases. The primary leaf diseases found at both sites were leaf rust, net blotch and some powdery mildew. Other variety characteristics reported in Table 2 include heading date, spike density, stem height, stem breakage, and grain moisture at harvest.
Grain quality measures are reported in Table 3. The grain from both sites tested low for the mycotoxin deoxinivalenol (DON), which is produced by the Fusarium head blight fungus. Finished grain products with DON levels exceeding 1 ppm are considered unsafe for human consumption (US Food and Drug Administration). DON reached 1 ppm in only one case. Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) was an issue at the Presque Isle site, due to delayed harvest. PHS reduces malting quality by reducing grain germination ability. PHS damage was assessed with a Rapid Visco-Analyzer (RVA), which reports “stirring numbers.” RVA stirring numbers below 120 indicate PHS damage. The average stirring number at the Presque Isle site was 36. However, Tradition, Robust and Quest, all 6-row varieties, demonstrated PHS resistance with stirring numbers above 120. In Old Town, where harvest was timely, all but seven varieties tested above 120. Grain protein levels at both sites were relatively low, likely due to high yields. The generally acceptable protein range for malting barley is 9.5 to 12.5% (dry matter basis). Kernel plumpness was good to excellent across varieties and sites with Harrington being the one exception. Grain from the Old Town site was suitable for malting. Malt quality results from this site are reported in Table 4.
Table 2. Agronomic characteristics of malting barley varieties grown in Old Town and Presque in 2015.
|Grain Moisture at Harvest‡
|Foliar Disease Severity
(1 – 9) §
Days after 5/31
|Variety||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle|
† Yield at 13.5% moisture.
‡ Measured at time of harvest.
• Scored visually using a scale from 1 = no disease pressure to 9 = high disease pressure. Scored on June 22 in Old Town and Aug 11 in Presque Isle.
# Scored visually using a scale from 1 = no stem breakage to 9 = severe stem breakage.
|Variety||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town||Presque Isle||Old Town|
† TKW = Thousand kernel weight.
‡ DON = Deoxynivalenol, a mycotoxin caused by Fusarium head blight.
≠ Protein on a dry matter basis. Acceptable range is 9.5% to 12.5%.
• Kernel plumpness is measured as the percentage of barley kernels that remain on the top of a 6/64” by 3/4” slotted sieve after shaking.
# RVA = Rapid Visco-Analyzer, which measures damage from pre-harvest sprouting. A stirring number less than 120 indicates grain with sprout damage. The lower the number the higher the levels of damage from pre-harvest sprouting.
|Variety||Fine Grind Extract†
† Indicator of the maximum yield of soluble components in the wort (hot water mixed with ground malt). Soluble components are primarily carbohydrates, the source of fermentable sugars, and proteins. Reported as a percentage of original malt weight on a dry matter basis. Minimum acceptable level is 80%.
‡ Indicator of the strength of all starch-degrading enzymes in the malt. Reported in “°Lintner”.
≠ Indicator of the strength of the alpha-amylase enzyme. Reported in dextrinizing units (DU). Acceptable levels for an all-malt mash is >30%.
• The amount of soluble proteins in the wort expressed as a percentage of malt weight. Acceptable range is 4.5-5.5%.
# FAN = Free amino nitrogen. A measure of amino acids and small peptides available in the malt to support yeast during fermentation.
¥ The concentration of beta glucan (cell wall material) is associated with lautering issues.
Updated July 2016
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