Boortmalt aims to secure 500ac for malting barley 'trial' in Donegal
CLOSE to 20 Donegal tillage farmers have expressed an interest in growing malting barley for Boortmalt this year.
The Athy-based company held a meeting with local growers in Burt, Co Donegal last week where its plans to develop a grower base in the east of the county were outlined.
Boortmalt aim to secure around 500ac of malting barley in the county this year which will act as a trial to see if growers can achieve the protein limits.
Growers will be paid €173.50/t for grain that meets the various specifications, with transport via 40ft trucks.
Since 2010 the area of grain crops grown in Donegal has fallen from 6,100ha to 4,600ha, while the area sown to potatoes has dropped by 300ha to 800ha.
Local agri-consultant Jim Devenney, who is the agronomist for Boortmalt in the area, said that there was a strong tradition of spring cropping in Donegal.
Mr Devenney accepted that meeting the required protein levels would be a challenge but he was confident this could be achieved through earlier sowing and fertiliser application.