The beer industry thrives on access to high quality malting barley and this week Anheuser-Busch InBev made a deal that will give them access to a range of malting barley varieties and agronomic support from Syngenta.
According to a media release, the agreement gives growers access to "the best Syngenta malting barley varieties and a tailored growing approach, which includes training and advice on agronomy and sustainable farming practices."
Syngenta has been involved in a number of unique agreements globally where it applies a range of agronomic knowledge and innovations to production of key crops. In sugar cane in South America, for example, the company innovated the planting of the crop so it could be done mechanically. The company worked with John Deere to develop the planting system.
This latest collaboration with the brewer shows how Syngenta is applying knowledge and technology in new ways. The company says that by following the new protocol, barley growers "will achieve superior yields when compared with current market standards."
Commenting on the agreement, Tony Milikin, chief procurement officer, AB InBev, says: "We wish to keep barley relevant and interesting for growers by helping them develop their business in a qualitative, sustainable and profitable way. We work with them towards achieving a better yield - investing in the development of improved varieties while providing access to high quality seeds, the latest technology and expert advice from skilled agronomists."
AB InBev works with more than 15,000 growers through longstanding barley programs in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, China and Russia.
The first phase of the project begins in Argentina and will involve 160 growers and cover about 30,000 acres. The joint offer will be scalable to other markets where there would be opportunities to increase value for growers.