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UK Two-Row Barley Crop Report

It has been an extremely challenging autumn across Europe for two-row malting barley. Very heavy rainfall throughout the autumn and winter has seen a considerable fall in winter-planted crops as growers struggled to get in the field for planting. The AHDB early bird survey indicates that the planted winter barley area across the UK is down 22% from last year. Despite this, we are well contracted for our winter barley requirements, with the majority coming from the Norfolk and Suffolk areas, based in the east of England.

Due to the reduction in winter plantings, particularly in winter wheat, there is an understandable intention to plant more spring crops, meaning that it is anticipated that the UK will be up to 29% on barley planting area. This, however, does not necessarily mean that there will be a surplus of this size. Due to continued wet weather, planting has been delayed beyond the optimum planting window, meaning yield will likely be affected. Although spring barley as a whole is up, it is also debatable as to how much of the planted area will yield malting quality barley. In Scotland, spring barley planting has begun within a reasonable time period, so all eyes will be on the weather over the next few weeks.

Europe Two-Row Barley Crop Report

A similar situation can be seen across Europe. In France, the optimum planting period for the two-row spring barley falls at the end of February. France is approximately 80% planted at the time of writing, meaning there will likely be a barley yield impact. Both Denmark and Germany are also considerably behind in spring barley planting. However, there is a reasonably relaxed view on this due to the increased area planted and the lack of demand.

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