NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Back to News and Events

Malting spring barley Quench wins NIAB Cereals Cup

16 June 2009

The National Institute of Agricultural Botany has awarded its Cereals Cup to the malting spring barley variety Quench from Syngenta Seeds.

NIAB chief executive Dr Tina Barsby presented the award to Syngenta’s head of barley breeding Paul Bury and Robert Hiles, global malting barley business manager, at the Cereals 2009 event.

“NIAB’s Cereals Cup is awarded to varieties that show outstanding merit and value in their marketplace,” said Dr Barsby.  “It was first awarded in 1953 to the spring barley Proctor.  Recent winners have included Einstein winter wheat in 2005, Pearl winter barley in 2004 and Claire winter wheat in 2001.  Quench is the first variety since 2005 that has met our strict Award criteria with its combination of field characteristics and approved malting quality.”

NIAB cereals technical manager Clare Leaman explained that Quench was an obvious contender for the Cereals Cup, representing a significant step forward in spring barley, as well as offering growers higher yields and a range of marketing options including export potential.

“Quench has yields equal to the highest yielding feed varieties with the bonus of full IBD approval for brewing.  It has good resistance to brackling in the field and shows excellent resistance to both mildew and Rhynchosporium,” said Mrs Leaman. 

Commenting on the Award, Robert Hiles of Syngenta Seeds said: “We feel truly honoured that the industry has sought to recognise Quench in this way.  Quench already has an unbeaten UK treated yield figure among spring malting barley varieties on the HGCA Recommended List for 2009. Now, this latest news should give extra confidence to growers who are already growing it, or those who are looking to grow it for the first time.”

Quench is also enjoying considerable success across Europe – including in Germany, Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Austria, Poland and Hungary.  It is even being tested as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and China.  This is significant because if a variety is accepted overseas it can potentially give growers and end users more markets to sell in to.

“As a breeder, our goal is to produce varieties which the industry is enthusiastic about. These types of accolade are a strong indication that we are on the right track,” said Mr Hiles.

For further information contact:
Claire Leaman, cereal crops, NIAB
T: 01223 342341
E: clare.leaman@niab.com

Simon Kerr, head of field operations, crops and traits, NIAB
T: 01223 342292
E: simon.kerr@niab.com

Issued by:
Ros Lloyd, Front Foot Communications            
T: 01487 831425     
E: ros.lloyd@frontfoot.uk.com