Yields and quality have held up well despite the weather
The latest and longest drawn out harvest of recent years is still struggling to finish. Pockets of spring wheat and beans remain to be harvested particularly in the west and in the north east.
Despite the difficulties with the harvest, yields and quality have held up well with beans yielding up to 3 tonnes and spring wheat yielding three to 4.5 t/ac.
Boormalt have indicated that they have filled both their brewers' contract, with less than 1pc of all barley delivered rejected because of proteins greater than the 10.8pc limit while also filling their distillers' contract with proteins of less than 8.8pc.
The base price at 20pc moisture will be €160 with up to €180 possible depending on forward selling options chosen during the year. Feed barley will probably level out at €135-€140/t. Amazingly, despite the bad weather and bad prices planting for the new season is already moving on.
Again farmers need to consider their situation regarding the two/three crop rule if they have more than 10/30 hectares of tillage.
Don't forget newly sown grass seed from an arable situation counts for the calculation. For many growers planting of winter barley and winter wheat will be the choice for two crops. Farmers should also remember the need for buffer strips.
A two-metre uncultivated strip must be left between crops and watercourses. Growers should also be aware of their obligations under the Nitrates Directive. If you spray stubble or plough you must establish green cover within six weeks or face a cross compliance penalty if inspected.
Over the last number of years winter barley has performed very well. Much of this can be put down to the new varieties particularly the emergence of hybrids. Management of hybrid barley is more demanding and different from conventional varieties.