July 15, 2005
dramatic increase in demand for barley over the next 15 years
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and
several other major research organisations to establish a
national barley breeding program (see
related news release).
Demand for export malt and barley grain is expected to increase
by 60 per cent between now and 2020, while demand for barley
feed grain is expected to double in the same period.
To satisfy this increased demand, itís estimated that
Australiaís 6.6 million tonne barley industry will have to more
than double production.
This would involve increasing average yields from two tonnes per
hectare to 2.6 tonnes per hectare and expansion of the growing
area for the grain from 3.3 million hectares to more than 5
To help achieve this, GRDC and the other organisations involved
have recommended the development of a nationally coordinated
breeding program for the grain to be named Barley Breeding
Foundation BBA participants
include: WA Department of Agriculture, SA Research and
Development Institute, NSW and Victorian Departments of Primary
Industries, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and
Fisheries and the University of Adelaide.
BBA will establish close links with industry, including growers,
Barley Australia, maltsters and the newly established Livestock
Feed Grain Users Group.
Says GRDC Managing Director, Mr Peter Reading: "To maximise
positive outcomes, BBA will embrace a whole of industry
approach, taking strategic direction from Australiaís
multi-billion dollar barley industry, which had a farm-gate
value of $1.5 billion in 2004/05 and a total value chain worth
"BBA will co-ordinate the development and release of new
varieties, ensuring appropriate protocols, in consultation with
Barley Australia," Mr Reading says.
The BBA Management Committee will ensure intellectual property
issues do not impede operations, giving breeders full license
and freedom to access germplasm, markers and software. It will
also establish benchmarks and key performance indicators to
monitor the programís performance.
"By the end of July, the Committee will be discussing plans for
BBA with grower bodies and industry, including grain exporters,
domestic and export maltsters, brewers and feed grain users. The
results of this consultation will be critical in finalising
barley breeding arrangements going forward," Mr Reading said.
Breeding programs will retain linkages with education, training
and teaching programs.