RGT Planet, the world’s most widely grown spring barley, continues to go from strength to strength in the field and in the market place.
It is increasing its already impressive footprint across the globe, with Australia now firmly in its sights, and remains the top performer in nearly all the countries where it is grown, thanks to its agronomic strengths which help it perform reliably under a wide range of conditions, producing very high yields of excellent quality grain.
The variety is also widely accepted by global maltsters and brewers, and the market has grown even further following the recent decision by the world’s biggest brewer to give RGT Planet its full backing in Western Europe.
Outstanding performance from the start
RGT Planet’s story began nine years ago when breeder Steve Klose crossed a variety called Tamtam with the better-known Concerto.
“Tamtam was a high yielding line from Syngenta which had done very well in France and Denmark. I was given a positive view of it by a marketing colleague, although its malting quality was not so good,” Steve recalls.
Concerto was, at the time, a very high quality, high yielding distilling type in the UK.
The cross was processed through double haploid, speeding up the breeding technique by several seasons.
RGT Planet was identified in the double haploid lines and sent to New Zealand for counter season multiplication (enabling two generations in one year) to enter it into the UK trialling system as quickly as possible.
“Its first year in trial was very successful and its malting quality confirmed, so it was put into RAGT’s NL-1 network of trials, covering UK, France, Germany, Denmark and the Czech Republic,” says Steve.
“At this point we were very excited about it potential as it was at the top of every trial.
It was then submitted into official trials, and that is where the story really began.”
Steve says he never envisaged such success, but released he had a potential world-beater on his hands after the first year of official trials. More recently, a paperwork request for registration in India, where RGT Planet is now widely grown, has confirmed its exceptional adaptability.
“The variety’s success has been immensely exciting for the spring barley team and given us an unexpected high profile within RAGT,” says Steve.
“It raises expectations to a very high level, but we believe our pipeline contains material that could better RGT Planet, although of course we will only know this when lines enter official trials.”
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