Exodus set to continue, warn malting barley growers
The prices unveiled in the latest tranche of the deal between IFA and Boortmalt will not halt the slide of growers exiting malting barley, it was claimed.
The malting barley package negotiated with Boortmalt was set out as farmers at a Dairygold suppliers meeting in Cork questioned prices paid for the key ingredient for the distilling industry.
Farmers say the co-op referenced the prices agreed between the IFA and Boortmalt, saying they could not go against those.
The IFA confirmed that the package negotiated with Boortmalt for next year included an initial price offer of €167.50/t excluding VAT for contract green brewing malting barley.
The seed price has been reduced to €520/t delivered for all varieties, and free haulage will be offered ex-yard for growers' grain where branches were closed in recent years.
It states the split of the brewing/distilling contract will remain the same.
However, Bobby Miller from the Irish Grain Growers' Association said the prices on offer would not halt the "slide of growers" leaving the malting barley industry.
"Distilleries and breweries may wake up to the fact that more needs to be paid for malting barley if they want to keep an Irish raw material," he said, adding better prices were being paid for animal feed.
However, IFA deputy president Richard Kennedy said it was a "very positive improvement" for growers.
"The fixed-price offer is currently ahead of that offered for new crop dried feeding barley for harvest 2018 collection," he said.
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