RGT Planet - A New World For Spring Barley

RGT Planet now has a presence in 57 countries across the globe. We take a look at what’s been driving the success of this outstanding spring barley since it was commercially launched.

RGT Planet is certainly living up to its name. It has become the most widely grown cereal variety in the world, thanks to its consistent performance and excellent grain quality that have helped make it a rock-solid choice for UK growers since it was promoted to the AHDB Recommended List in 2015.

Although spring barleys travel well compared to other cereal species, RGT Planet’s outstanding adaptability has helped it deliver some impressive results across widely differing climates and soil types around the globe.

It is now in development or being grown commercially across Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia. The variety has also been approved by maltsters and brewers around the world.

RAGT cereal and OSR product manager Tom Dummett says:

“This widespread end-user acceptance bodes well for UK growers. It has to be a plus at a time when the grain trade has been hit with so many uncertainties due to Brexit and Covid-19.”

As well as its marketability, RGT Planet’s strong agronomics and excellent grain quality have delivered a reputation for reliability among UK growers over the past six years.

“Only three spring barley varieties have full brewing approval on the RL and they are all within 2% of each other in terms of yield,” says Mr Dummett.

“RGT Planet is remarkably consistent across the various regions, so it can be grown anywhere in the UK where there is a major malting market, as well as for feed.

“It also has excellent grain quality, including the highest specific weight and best screenings figures for approved brewing varieties. This is helped by its good resistance to lodging and brackling, and the fact it is earlier to ripen than its main competitors.

“Farmers also have a wealth of experience with the variety so know how to get the best from it.

It will be one of the top two spring barleys in terms of area in 2021, and we think it will maintain a significant share for several years to come.”

Raising the bar

RGT Planet has effectively raised the plant breeding bar, says RAGT international cereal product manager Celia Bequain.

“It has become the standard that we have to beat.”

RAGT’s pipeline of spring barley varieties includes a range of important traits to help grower and end user, including improved combinations of yield, grain quality and key agronomics, such as disease resistance and straw strength.

Growers can also expect the appearance of true multi-purpose varieties that suit all three major markets, brewing, malt distilling and grain distilling, as well as specialist segmented variety offerings.

RAGT breeders are also working on shortening the life cycle of crops. This could be beneficial to UK growers as the climate becomes more variable, but will be key in hotter, drier climates where good growing windows are relatively short.

RGT Planet website

RGT Planet now has its own website illustrating the journey of the variety from initial testing to its global position today (www.rgtplanet.com).

Ms Bequain says:

“The variety’s global potential is huge.

The website, which we will add to and update as more information becomes available, is all about how RGT Planet has travelled. It includes a global map with information for different countries, as well as videos and media sources.

“Rather than being a strong commercial push, it’s more about sharing the story and saying thank you to the growers, merchants and end users who have collaborated with us and help make RGT Planet the success it is.”

RGT Planet grain stats (RL)

Specific weight (kg/hl) – 67.8

Screenings (% through 2.25mm) – 1.4

Screenings (% through 2.5mm) – 3.8

Nitrogen content (%) – 1.51

To learn more about RGT Planet download the latest datasheet here.

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