SAC Cereal Specialist David Cranstoun believes that with an increasingly unpredictable climate and a volatile market it is vital for farmers planning cereal planting programme to use all the market intelligence they can.
Introducing SAC’s new Recommended List of cereal varieties for 2009 David said,
“Of course farmers need to know how the crop will grow in their conditions and cope with what the season brings, but they still have to sell the grain and any hint about what buyers are looking for should be snapped up”.
In that context he pointed out several changes to the SAC list, in particular the spring barley variety Appaloosa. It had been dropped following discussions with distillers during which it became clear that they were unlikely to source Appaloosa in future. Fortunately Publican has successfully completed commercial malting and distilling tests so it has been promoted both to a general recommendation and full approval for malt distilling.
“Tables and statistics are good tools” said David Cranstoun, “but I would urge growers to use the thumbnail sketches SAC give about each variety. These give helpful hints on how to grow them, what weaknesses to watch out for and more details about the market.”
Optic holds on as a general spring barley recommendation on the understanding that distillers are keen to continue their commitment to such a well tried variety. Making progress towards commercial testing is Belgravia which now has provisional stage 1 Approval for both malt and grain distilling. Also joining the recommended list for 2009 are Concerto and Forensic, both varieties look suitable for malt distilling. However Cocktail and Rebecca join Riviera in the outclassed category.
In Winter Barley, Cassata is added to the 2009 list as a malting variety that already has significant commercial support in SE Scotland. Also looking interesting, with a 6% yield advantage over the next highest yielding variety, is the newly recommended hybrid six-row Volume. It is stiffer than departing Bronx and has a better specific weight.
For winter wheat, there are two new distilling varieties. Viscount has a good rating for distilling and resistance to wheat orange blossom midge, plus a yield 4% above Alchemy. If Viscount stumbles, then Cassius with a yield 3% above Alchemy will also look more attractive.
There are no additions to the recommended list of oat varieties, while Ascot, SW Kinross and Brochan depart .
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