The Malting Barley Committee met on January 16th, 2018 in the STAMAG Stadlauer Malzfabrik in Vienna. The committee numbers among its members representatives of the malting and brewing industry, the agricultural trading sector, barley growers and seed companies, AGES and the Agricultural Chamber of Lower Austria.
The committee agreed to add the varieties Elektra and Esma to the group of preferred malting barleys. The newly-included Esma is a short-stature variety with medium to late ripeness, medium standing power and good resistance to leaf diseases. In the previous year, it suffered more from drought and yielded defective grain distributions in locations impacted by drought stress. For this reason, the Pannonian region, with its humid zones and better soil quality, is preferable for this variety. Elektra ripens several days earlier, has good standing power and is resistant to all major leaf diseases. It combines good yield potential with high grain distribution and low protein content.
As both barley varieties yielded good results in large and small-scale malting trials, they will be listed in the group of preferred malting barleys as of this year. Only small amounts of Elektra seed are currently available for consumption farming. Most of the available seed is used for propagation purposes.
The addition of these two barley varieties expands the existing range, which comprises the varieties Cerbinetta, Laureate, Regency, RGT Planet, Salome and Zarasa. Rusalka, the formerly preferred malting barley, will no longer be listed for the 2018 harvest.
Furthermore, it was agreed that the new variety Ellinor would be tested with regard to its suitability for industrial malting. In Austria, Ellinor is still being tested prior to approval.
Detailed information on the properties of individual varieties may be found in the Austrian Descriptive Variety List.