Booming Scotch whisky consumption both in the UK and overseas has brought about an increase in the amount of UK barley required for distilling.  Currently the only varieties approved by the MAGB    (Maltsters Association of Great Britain) for distilling are spring sown.  To be suitable for distilling a variety must be ‘Nil GN’ (contain no Glycocidic Nitrile).  On farm, the sample grown must be of low nitrogen content ideally in the 1.40n – 1.60n range.

For the first time in conjunction with Muntons plc we are looking for growers to trial an acreage of a new Winter variety of Nil GN.

Whilst not yet on the recommended list this new variety SY Vessel comes from the breeder Syngenta who have previously produced the winter brewing varieties Craft, SY Venture, Flagon and Electrum.  Whilst also having leading spring Nil GN variety Laureate and new-comer SY Tungsten in their portfolio.

Agronomically SY Vessel is a shorter strawed variety with good standing power and overall strong disease resistance. It is a variety producing samples of high specific weight and low screenings.

The Buy-back contract is for harvest 2022 movement and offers a premium over the November 22 Liffe wheat futures for samples of low nitrogen.

For those interested, please contact this office for further details.

Elsewhere we have finished moving our large harvest 2021 contracted winter malting barley acreage.  Samples have almost without exception been of usable quality.  Nitrogen contents have generally been on the low side and grain size whilst not being as large as some years has been passable even if some samples have been subject to small screenings claims.  The November Liffe based contracts have again ensured that malting barley growers have achieved useful premiums to feed barley.

Unusually for harvest feed barley we have seen a mid-harvest price rally.  Potential supply issues around the world resulting from North American drought, German floods and Russian winter kill have caused wheat prices around the world to firm and consequently barley has followed.  At these higher wheat prices, UK based animal feed compounders will undoubtedly continue to factor more barley usage into their rations, especially when even at these new levels feed barley remains    £25.00/tonne below feed wheat.

Winter Oilseed Rape crops are mid harvest.  Yields reports so far have been positive and it would appear that those two harbingers of doom Messrs Flea Beetle and Jack Frost have not had too much of a detrimental effect on this harvest years crop.  Prices remain at unprecedented levels and currently the market shows little sign of weakness. The only downside so far, sample oil results initially appear to be below recent years in the low 40’s.

Spring barleys, at the time of writing we have seen two Laureate contract buy-back crop samples, both below 1.40n and we will be moving them to our stores Monday onwards.

Winter wheat harvest has started for only a handful of growers and most await a run of dry settled ‘summer’ weather.  Harvest wheat has been trading up to £180.00/tonne ex farm and November at £185.00/tonne.

Thumbs up so far then for Harvest 2021, but perhaps a small whisky tonight, just for medicinal purposes you understand!




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