Gairdner in the east, high-rainfall option

The WA-bred malting barley Gairdner is being received as a malting variety in Victoria and SA from the 1999-2000 harvest.

Chairman of the Malting and Brewing Industry Barley Technical Committee, Donn Hawthorne, said the committee had approved Gairdner as a malting variety in the southern region of the grain belt.

"However, the variety currently has limited demand and is undergoing malting and brewing evaluation in Victoria and SA to determine future requirements for the domestic industry," he said.

Gairdner is seen as a cropping option for higher-rainfall areas, possibly replacing Franklin which has problems with seed size.

WA recipe for success with Gairdner

Meanwhile researchers from Agriculture WA say that success of Gairdner in that State is dependent on achieving good grain size. The best bets: "Gairdner can produce high grain yields and meet the malting specification for grain size if it is sown in mid- to late May, on soils with good moisture-holding capacity during spring, at up to 150 plants per square metre, in the absence of the spot form of net blotch and with enough nitrogen fertiliser to maximise grain yields".