Dairygold and Glanbia have indicated that they plan to take in a similar amount of barley as they have in previous years.

As in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed uncertainty into the malting barley market. Malting barley for brewing is possibly the most vulnerable, amidst lockdowns at home and abroad.

Both Dairygold and Glanbia supply the Malting Company of Ireland, and have indicated that they will continue to review the situation.

Boortmalt, the country’s largest buyer of malting barley, has stated that: “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted malt demand and Boortmalt is working hard to establish forward projections. This will then allow us to inform farmers of their brewing and distilling contractual volumes for the 2021 harvest.”

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that farmers supplying a third party for Boortmalt in Co Cork have already been subject to a cut in contracts.

On 12 January, Boortmalt offered suppliers a fixed price of €200/t and this could be locked in on 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% of their contracts.

Growers no doubt eagerly await further details of their contracts, as they plan for the season ahead and decide on seed and nitrogen requirements.