Australia is one of the world's leading malting barley growing and exporting countries, but in recent years the established Australian malting barley varieties have begun to be outclassed by varieties grown elsewhere. A nationally organized breeding and development system was therefore established in order to remedy the situation as rapidly as possible, enabling new high quality malting barley varieties to replace those which were becoming uncompetitive. Breeding, field trials and much of the relevant research are carried out by six public breeding stations, the work of which (together with their use of shared resources such as specialist laboratories for genetics, biotechnology, etc.) is coordinated by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), a national body jointly funded by the cereal farming community and the Australian federal government. Malting and brewing quality evaluation is carried out at the Australian Malting Barley Centre in the state of Queensland. Quality standards are set by the Malting and Brewing Industry Barley Technical Committee (MBIBTC), which represents all significant Australian malting and brewing companies and has also developed an improved procedure for the commercial evaluation of new barley varieties on their release. The MBIBTC in turn reports to Australian Associated Brewers (AAB), the trade association of the Australian brewing industry. A new organization, the Barley Quality Objectives Group, containing representatives of growers, maltsters, brewers and traders, has been set up to decide on the future aims of the Australian malting barley breeding system and to identify priority subjects for research in fields relevant to the improvement of malting barley quality.
Keywords : barley breeding malting management quality research development survey