Preliminary data from the 2016 malting barley trials is now available
Drought stress through much of the state impacted yields, but overall, disease pressure and pre-harvest sprout were down.
In 2016, a three-site variety trial was managed by staff from the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center (UPREC) and the Michigan State University W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). The trial was supported by a grant through the Brewers Association and American Malting Barley Association. The primary goal of this research was to examine a set of malting barley varieties for yield and quality performance in various climatic regions of Michigan. MSU collaborated on this trial with eight other states and two locations in Canada through the Eastern Spring Barley Nursery program, spearheaded by the Craft Maltsters Guild. The three trial locations were:
- Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, MI (Alger County)
- The Julian Pilarski Farm in Posen (Presque Isle County)
- W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (Barry County)
Residing in diverse regions, each area has a long history of small grain production and multiple craft malthouses due to start production with the intent to source locally grown barley. Each plot utilized a rectangular lattice experimental design, which allows for good statistical analysis of results. Twenty-eight varieties were tested in three replications.
Preliminary trial data can now be found at the UPREC Malting Barley website. Agronomic and yield data are included in the report. Quality data will be published early 2017.
- The Posen site realized the greatest drought stress, nearly 4.5 inches below the six-year average, but all locations were slightly ahead in growing degree days (GDD) at the time of grain maturity.
- Optimal moisture at harvest was yet again difficult to achieve in the U.P., whereas both locations downstate were successful in getting most varieties down below 12 percent.
- Test weight across all varieties were average at UPREC, above average at Posen and slightly below average at KBS.
- Average yields were 71 bu/ac (UPREC), 50 bu/ac (Posen) and 60 bu/acre (KBS).
- Top varieties summarized across all locations include AAC Synergy, LCS Odyssey, ND Genesis, 2ND28065 and KWS Fantex.
If you are interested in malting barley or malt production, contact Ashley McFarland at 906-439-5176 or firstname.lastname@example.org. McFarland is the coordinator of the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, Michigan.