Despite having experienced an extremely challenging number of years, there was renewed optimism in the Donegal tillage sector last week as it emerged that Boortmalt, Ireland's largest malting company is in talks with businesses in the area to develop a malting barley growers base in the northwest.

The Irish Farmers Journal has learned that the initiative is being led by local agri-chemical merchant AgriCare, with the support of Boortmalt.