12th September 2022

Demand for concerto

Spring malting barley variety Concerto is enjoying a growing reputation at home and on the continent with many merchants actively seeking growers in order to meet demand.Demand for Concerto is based on its unique credentials. It is the only spring malting barley in Europe to have received the approval of the UK’s Institute for Brewing & Distilling (IBD) for both brewing and distilling and approval from CMBO, the maltsters association of France – recognised as the European standard for malting barley – giving it more marketing opportunities than any other variety.In addition to proving itself with maltsers it has performed well on farms. While yields in 2011 reflected the difficulties caused by the early summer drought, Concerto demonstrated excellent performance in the east of England where it performed in line with Propino and Quench and was the highest yielding variety in Scottish trials.The growing dominance of the brewing and distilling markets represents the ever increasing global demand for beer. The top four brewers now account for over 50% of the world market, whereas in 2000 this figure was nearer 20%.  This underlines the importance of choosing a variety approved for multiple markets.Grower Hugo James of the Townhill Farming Partnership, near Dorchester, West Dorset trialled Concerto in 2011 on the advice of his Masstock agronomist and was impressed with its performance. To give it a fair test he grew 72ha of Concerto alongside 56ha of Propino. â€œI was highly impressed with Concerto. We grow continuous spring barley and while both crops produced an excellent sample, Concerto out yielded Propino by roughly 1.97t/ha boosting enterprise output by about £395/ha.”This was the first year he injected pig slurry ahead of drilling and was pleased with how the crop performed. “We’re keen incorporate as much organic fertility as possible and last year we injected 30 cubic metres per ha of pig slurry. I’m confident it proved beneficial during to crop growth during the early summer drought and it also saved us £100/ha in nitrogen fertiliser costs.”Gordon Gowlett of grain merchant Gowlett Grain has found Concerto to be one of the most consistent varieties, particularly in the eastern counties, to be added to the Recommended List in recent years with brewers and distillers in the UK and Europe identifying it early as a versatile variety.“We were approached several years ago by a foreign buyer wanting to discuss malting barley options after samples it was receiving at the time fell short of expectations. â€œWe quickly identified Concerto as a variety capable of satisfying the necessary standard while also likely to be around for many years to come, a fact that would give the user greater confidence to go with it.”Gowlett Grain has been exporting Concerto since and following its approval in France by the CMBO, the buyer has decided to take the arrangement further. â€œWe need a variety with sound credentials and that we are confident will be around for a few years to come; Concerto meets those criteria.  There is strong market demand for Concerto and as a variety it has the robust characteristics needed to perform across a variety of challenging environments.”

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