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Barley variety shake-up

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Jenne BrammerThe West Australian

The Grains Industry Association of WA has recommended segregations for Hindmarsh barley be phased out from the 2016-2017 harvest, in favour of newer malt barley varieties.

Buloke, Gairdner and Vlamingh will also be phased out, with the 2015-2016 harvest being their last.

Meanwhile, Bass, La Trobe and Scope will be the most common malt barley varieties segregated from next year.

In other recommendations, GIWA said Baudin and Commander should also have limited segregation opportunities in line with current production volumes.

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There would also be limited segregation opportunities with Flinders and Granger being new to the market.

GIWA Barley Council vice-chairman, and Lake King grower, Steve Tilbrook said these recommendations were intended as a guide for growers and consultants to help with the planning of the 2016 barley cropping program and to provide feedback to CBH over desired segregations.

Although Hindmarsh is grown extensively in WA, Mr Tilbrook said LaTrobe, developed by the same breeder, was suitable to the same growing conditions.

He said although there was not currently much of a premium for LaTrobe over Hindmarsh, there was potential given the former's malt classification.

He said over the past few seasons the WA malting barley industry had been transitioning from Baudin, Buloke, Gairdner and Vlamingh.

The 2015-2016 harvest will be the last harvest that Buloke, Gairdner and Vlamingh are segregated.

Production volumes for Baudin may not be enough to support segregation opportunities after the 2016-2017 harvest, according to GIWA.

The recommendations were produced in consultation with processors, exporters, breeders and members of the GIWA Barley Council.

Mr Tilbrook said the barley industry had been aiming to rationalise the number of barley varieties segregated to two major malting varieties per port zone, with limited segregations on offer for some minor, new or niche malting varieties, he said.

Meanwhile, in response to industry demand, a GIWA committee will review barley standards in WA.

The purpose of the GIWA Barley Standards Review 2015 is to ensure that grain standards applied to WA's barley crop are fit-for-purpose.

The review is chaired by Mr Tilbrook and consists of members of the GIWA Barley Council and four external invited individuals.

Mr Tilbrook said a specific outcome for the barley industry from the WA Grain Industry 2025+ Strategy was to ensure receival standards closely matched market demand.

GIWA is responsible for setting the grain standards in WA and plays an important role in the industry's self-regulation of grain standards which are designed to ensure the value of the barley industry continues to grow.

GIWA will use the feedback received to prepare a response to industry, shared with Grain Trade Australia, by the end of February 2016.

Any changes affecting planting decisions will be for implementation in the 2017/2018 harvest.

All members within the grain value chain are welcome to prepare a submission for consideration by the review committee. The Terms of Reference for the GIWA Barley Standards Review, details about the Review Committee and the submission process can be found on the GIWA website at: www.giwa.org.au/standards .

Submissions to the standards review are open until September 18.

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