Glanbia Ireland has announced plans to double its gluten-free oat acreage, citing increased consumer demand for its products.
The crop attracts a premium of €40/t over green wheat price for growers, with all harvesting and transport carried out by Glanbia Ireland using dedicated machinery.
All seeds are purchased through Glanbia Ireland in order to adhere to strict specifications to deliver food-grade gluten-free produce.
Gluten-free oats command an attractive premium over feed crops.
“Gluten-free oat is a premium grain and delivers better opportunities for farmers.
"We plan to double the acreage, albeit from a small base, to keep pace with growing demands for gluten-free produce,” said Glanbia Ireland’s head of grains John Kealy.
Glanbia Ireland’s state-of-the-art oats-only food-grade facility opened in Portlaoise, Co Laois in 2014.
The company follows a stringent 14-step OatSecure closed-loop supply chain, processing in a BRC Grade.
This ensures the oats are less than 10 parts per million (ppm) gluten and certified gluten-free.
Previously, Glanbia Ireland’s gluten-free oat crops were mainly grown in the Kildare, Laois and Carlow region.
However, the premium grains team is now looking to expand the land base sown to gluten-free outside of this area in cases where farms can meet certain criteria.
Glanbia Ireland has announced plans to double its gluten-free oat acreage.
Glanbia Ireland’s grain quality operations manager Maria O’Toole said: “We are looking for farmers with suitable rotations on their land to suit this crop, which has to be sown either after a non-cereal break crop or grass.”
Commenting on specific requirements, she said: “There are specific requirements that a potential grower’s land has to meet before it would be considered suitable to sow this crop, such as having low levels of wild oats or invasive brome.”
“There are other factors that have to be taken into account, such as farm size and field access, as dedicated gluten-free machinery would have to be brought to the area for harvest,” she concluded.
Farmers are being urged to talk to the Glanbia Ireland agronomy team at the Ploughing Championships - Block 2 - Row 5 - Stand 114 - to assess their farm’s suitability for growing the crop.
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