Whiskey galore but sobering prices for barley growers
The surge in whiskey sales may not be having an impact on grain prices but it is delivering increased demand for malting barley.
Irish whiskey exports are worth €300m a year but Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) grain committee chairman, Liam Dunne, says not all Irish whiskey under production is being made with Irish grain.
"We would like to see that Irish produced whiskey has the maximum amount of native grains in it instead of importing other grains such as maize.
"The guys (distillers) themselves have to make up their own minds about what they want to put into it. That's what decides what the whiskey is going to be like afterwards and we're not in a position to interfere in telling them what should be in their mash.
"We would like to think that if they want to put Irish on the bottle, and it is a growing brand, they should have it as Irish as possible," he said.
Mr Dunne added that Ireland is capable of growing plenty more barley to match the excelling industry.
"Our capacity to grow malting barley is not limited - we can grow a lot more of it," said Mr Dunne.
So we're nowhere near reaching our capacity to produce it. Of course, the distilling industry here it doesn't use only malting barley - it's using other grains as well."