Westminster Barley ‘Stands Up’ to the testHarvest Declaration Form

Westminster barley has been under the spot light this season, with many growers watching the performance of the variety this harvest in anticipation of growing Westminster Barley in 2012.  Released by GrainSearch in early 2011 Westminster is a long season variety with similar maturity to Gairdner.  It has shown exceptional yield potential and disease resistance to major barley diseases including Leaf Rust, Scald and Powdery Mildew.  In a year where commercial varieties like Commander and Gairdner were hit hard with Leaf Rust and Powdery Mildew, Westminster was the exception showing very clean crops around the district.

Westminster has been grown predominantly in the Western Victoria this season, with scattered crops from South Australia to Southern Queensland.  There have been numerous reports of commercial crops yielding in excess of 6.5t/ha with the average well above 4.5t/ha.  Current malt delivers exceed 10,000 tonne with 80% of the crop making the malt 1 standard, with low protein being the stoping point for the other 20% of deliveries.

Westminster is being segregated at ABA Tatyoon North and ABA Werneth this season with anticipated deliveries in excess of twenty thousand tonne.  Segregations will be expanded next season to include the Southern Wimmera and additional sites in the Western Districts to accommodate the rapid increase in Westminster production, it is forecast that were will be 150-200 thousand tonne produced next season.

Westminster is progressing through Barley Australia Accreditation at present, with Year 1 results continuing to look very promising as a replacement for Gairdner.  SQP Grain and GrainSearch have secured malt markets for Westminster malt production whist it gains full accreditation.

Local Westminster grower Alastair Wills from Streatham said “Westminster preformed better than my expectations, and the expectations were high, as it was a stand out last year against Commander and Gairdner”.  Mr Will went on to say “Test weight and Screenings have been the two limiting aspects of our barley program in the past. All our Westminster went Malt 1 and the majority of our Commander went F1. Westminster ranged between 69 and 72 test weight compared with Commander at 62 – 65 test Weight.  Westminster screenings were between 1 and 3 percent compared to Commander at between 5 – 8 percent”.  “I don’t think I would grow Barley if it wasn’t for Westminster. I’m just sick of growing feed barley”.

WESTMINSTER sets a new benchmark for medium to high rainfall zone malt barley varieties. Excellent agronomic adaptation combined with exceptional grain and malt quality offers a great deal of added value to all segments of the supply chain.  The excellent disease profile, standability and consistently high yields make Westminster a prime candidate for Dryland/Irrigated cropping systems. The below photo depicts Westminster’s exceptional stem strength and standability.

For further information and seed enquiries talk to your local agronomist or contact GrainSearch.