Even after seven years in the market, RGT Planet stays the most popular malting barley variety in Europe in 2022. Bred by RAGT Semence, a French grain breeder, RGT Planet was first tested in 2014 and launched in several key markets. The variety has since conquered malting houses and breweries around the world.
The variety is for many years market leader in its home market France (75%), in Sweden (40%), Ireland (35%) and Germany (30%) and holds a good second position in Denmark (30%) and the UK (30%). The only other malting barley variety which comes close or is even slightly better in Scandinavia and the UK is Laureate, another high yielding malting barley by Syngenta.
RGT Planet is approved by international malting groups with French origin like Boortmalt,Malteurop, and Groupe Soufflet, but also by other leading maltsters around the world .It is used by nearly all of the international brewing groups including AB InBev, Heineken, Carlsberg, Molson-Coors, Guinness, and San Miguel.
Despite very good analytics and a very high agronomic yield, the variety did not make it onto the list of recommended malting barley varieties of the so-called Berlin Program in Germany. When tested on a small scale in 2014, the variety was recommended for large-scale industrial trials, but ultimately failed because some of the breweries involved in the testing had mild lautering/filtration issues. The results were not consistent as some brewers had no issues while others reported longer lautering/filtration times.
In the end, the brewing expert panel of the Berlin Program decided not to recommend RGT Planet, but acknowledged that the variety’s performance is very dependent on the brewery, its equipment and brewing methods. Especially if the brewery does not use RGT Planet as the only variety, the problems could be largely overcome.
Despite this setback, RGT Planet was able to convince many farmers also in Germany because of its favorable and stable agronomic characteristics.The wide cultivation area with different climate zones also shows the enormous adaptability of this variety to different climatic growing conditions.
“RGT Planet … was the first of the very high yielding varieties that has enabled growers to budget for a harvest grain yield of 3.5t/acre, with some growers now achieving up to 4t/acre in good years,” saysDonal Fitzgerald, Arable Seeds General Manager at Goldcrop, a leading supplier of seeds and inputs to agriculture and horticulture across Ireland.