Monday, February 24, 2014

Spring Malting Barley Seed Availability 2014

This article was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

A PDF file of this article is available here.

Farmers interested in purchasing spring malting barley seed in 2014 have a number of varieties available in New York. The 2013 Cornell Small Grain Variety Trial results are available here. All varieties should be drilled at about 2 bu/A (~100 lb./A) and about 1 inch deep. Planting after April 15th will result in reduced yields. See the Growing Malting Barley in NY bulletin for information about malting barley production practices. Both 6-row and 2-row malting barleys are being used in New York to make high quality beers and whiskey. The 6-row varieties generally have better agronomic traits (yield, disease resistance, resistance to lodging, etc.) than 2-row varieties under the climatic conditions of the Northeast. Historically 2-row varieties were preferred by brewers, but breeding advancements in the past 20-50 years have essentially eliminated the previous gap between 6-row and 2-row varieties for the needs of the craft brewing industry in the United States. For more discussion of 6-row vs. 2-row malting barley see these articles from Oregon State University and the Brewers' Market Guide.

Quest is a 6-row spring variety certified by the University of Minnesota and is available through Seedway representatives and their affiliates. Quest has been bred specifically to have partial resistance to Fusarium head blight. Fusarium head blight is the major disease of malting barley in New York and the source of DON (deoxynivalenol a.k.a vomitoxin) in all small grains. In the 2013 Cornell Variety Trial, Quest was ranked 3rd in yield, 3rd in malting quality, and had low lodging and disease incidence ratings. Contact your local representative or Adam Robertson by phone: (585) 435-7165 or email: 

Conlon is a 2-row spring variety certified by North Dakota State University and is available through Preferred Seed representatives and their affiliates. In the 2013 Cornell Variety Trial, Conlon was ranked 12th in yield, 1st in malting quality, had low disease incidence ratings, but had moderately higher lodging ratings than other varieties. If growing this variety put on a lower amount of spring nitrogen (maximum of ~40 lb./A) compared to other varieties (maximum of ~60 lb./A). Contact your local representative or Garrett Coleman by phone: (814) 381-6809 or email:

AC Metcalfe, CDC Copeland, CDC Meredith, and Newdale are all 2-row spring varieties of certified seed from Canada and are available through FICO Farms out of Rochester, NY. In the 2013 Cornell Variety Trial, AC Metcalfe was 15th in yield, 16th in quality, and had moderately higher lodging and disease incidence ratings. CDC Copeland and CDC Meredith were not entered in the 2013 trial. Newdale was 4th in yield, 17th in malt quality, had lower lodging ratings, but higher disease incidence ratings in the 2013 trial. Contact Paul Filippetti by phone: (585) 770-4702 or email:

Lakeview Organics can supply organically certified spring malting barley seed out of the Midwest. For more information about seed availability contact Mary Howell-Martin by phone: (315) 531-1038 or email:

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