Bringing better barley to brewers with new grain quality test

Author: Tristan Price | Date: 30 Jan 2013

Barley ID Testing

Key points:

  • New Barley ID Testing Service helps growers meet market requirements
  • Testing method is accurate and efficient, ensures suitability for malting 
  • Priority testing now available for southern region growers

A new barley identification test is set to boost the ability of growers to supply grain suitable for the premium malting market.

Available through industry partner GrainGrowers and developed in conjunction with the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC), the Barley ID Testing Service will give growers a reliable and precise tool for gauging their barley varieties’ quality.

The service provides an industry standard for determining the authenticity and purity of barley varieties intended for brewing. Although it is available to maltsters, seed sellers and bulk handlers, growers can also use it to help select their varieties by confirming variety traits and identifying any contamination.

GRDC Manager of Commercial Farm Technologies, Paul Meibusch, said the testing service could be a valuable measure for growers wanting to ensure that their crop would meet brewers’ needs.

“The market wants more pure varieties of barley for brewing, and the Barley ID Testing Service is an essential tool for growers who want to ensure that the variety of barley they intend to grow will meet that demand,” he said.

“The testing method is highly accurate, and can detect even minor levels of contamination. This is because of the large range of gene traits that the service is able to draw on when testing a variety.”

The Barley ID Testing Service uses gene trait information from the Data Arrays Technology (DaRT) service. DaRT has 400 generic barley variety markers that define all common malting and feed barley varieties.

During testing, technicians extract DNA from sample seeds and compare its traits to those in the DaRT database. A computer then processes the data and determines the exact barley variety and purity of the sample.

GrainGrowers is providing priority testing for farmers until April, in the lead up to sowing this season’s barley crops.

The Barley ID Testing Service has a standard turnaround time of 15 days and requires a 250 gram seed sample.
For more information on the service, visit

A GRDC Driving Agronomy interview about the test is available, and a GRDC Ground Cover TV segment can be viewed via


Caption: Southern region growers are able to ensure that their barley varieties are suitable for malting thanks to the new Barley ID Testing Service.

For more information:

Paul Meibusch, GRDC
02 6166 4500

Tristan Price, Porter Novelli
03 9289 9555 / 0400 363 006

Region South, North