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UK Crop Report

It has been an extremely challenging Autumn across Europe for malting barley. A very heavy rainfall throughout 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 planted winter barley area is down 22% on last year across the UK. Despite this, we are well contracted for our winter barley requirements, which the majority coming from the Norfolk and Suffolk area.

Due to the reduction in winter plantings, particularly in winter wheat, there is understandably intention to plant more spring crop, meaning that it is anticipated that the UK will be up to 29% up 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 began within a reasonable tome period, so all eyes will be on the weather over the next few weeks.

Europe Crop Report

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

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