Boortmalt has this week issued a fixed-price offer of €200/t for up to 20% of growers’ 2021 contracted green malting barley tonnage.

Growers could either lock in 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% of their contacts at the offered price.

The price was welcomed by IFA grain committee chair Mark Browne, who called on all grain buyers to show a commitment to the sustainability of Irish tillage farmers by offering a strong forward grain price.

“Last year’s tillage season was extremely difficult for growers. Preliminary estimates by IFA indicate a fall in tillage incomes of over 10% for 2020,” Browne said.

“According to the Teagasc National Farm Survey, tillage farm incomes fell by 15% in 2019, which represents consecutive years of declines for the sector.”


However, this offer was criticised by Irish Grain Growers chair Bobby Miller, who said €35 and €20 over feed barley and wheat price respectively leaves winter wheat and barley more profitable to grow, with less risk involved.

“There have been suggestions to farmers that contracts will be cut and perhaps up to 60% of the contract needs to be distilling grade in 2021,” Miller said.

“The whiskey industry is growing apace yet no strong signs of encouragement to grow distilling grade barley are forthcoming.”