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Creating markets for new barley varieties

14 December 2017

Glencore Agriculture is opening up important barley markets for local growers in response to the shift in varieties being sown across Australia.

With over 30 different barley varieties available, the company has been using its strong customer relationships worldwide to build markets for growers who are moving towards new varieties.

Lyndon Asser, Glencore Agriculture’s Senior Commercial Manager, said more and more hectares were being sown with varieties such as Spartacus and Planet, despite malting status still pending.

“While we wait to see if Spartacus and Planet gain malting accreditation, we are already promoting it to end-use customers to help us forge a market for the varieties more quickly,” Lyndon said.

“Our strong relationships with customers, especially in China, gives us the unique ability to trial new varieties and hopefully speed up the time from the variety’s release to market acceptance.”

Lyndon said that ensuring segregations were in place to segregate the varieties was pivotal for customers.

“Varietal segregation is important to maltsters and brewers because it allows for consistency in the malting process and for a greater degree of control and predictability in the brewing process.

“In South Australia, we work closely with Viterra to ensure the varieties in demand by end-users are segregated at receival.

“Grower and market demand for Spartacus and Compass is increasing, with Commander steady. We’re still gauging popularity on Planet, however Scope (with the introduction of Spartacus) and La Trobe, seem to be declining. We have also seen a significant decline in the production and demand of Hindmarsh and Buloke.”

Both Spartacus and Compass and are yet to receive final malting status, with an outcome likely in early 2018. Planet has just commenced the accreditation process.

Viterra is offering segregations for seven different barley varieties in 2017/18 to meet growers’ needs, including Spartacus for the first time this year.

Michael Hill, Viterra’s Group Operations Manager, said the capacity made available this year had been well-received by malting barley growers.

“We will again work closely with growers and Strategic Site Committees to determine which segregations are needed in 2018/19, while also taking into account demand from end-users,” Michael said.

“We are reviewing segregations for Hindmarsh and Buloke and encourage growers to speak to their Strategic Site Committees or site and regional managers to assist in segregation discussions.”