Boortmalt has confirmed to Agriland that it will continue its dialogue with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) in relation to the outcome of the 2023 malting barley harvest.

A Boortmalt spokesperson said: “Over the course of a year, but especially during harvest, Boortmalt and the IFA are in frequent contact.

“That has been the case over recent weeks and regular dialogue will continue on all issues and developments going forward.”

IFA Grain Committee chair, Kieran McEvoy, has welcomed the positive sentiment from the company.

“Malting barley growers have experienced a number of challenges, all weather related, throughout the entire 2023 growing season.

“IFA feels it is important for Boortmalt to recognise this reality, where current barley intakes are concerned,” McEvoy said.

Boortmalt criteria

“We have known for some time that this year’s harvest would throw up challenges for malting barley growers. In light of this, we will be asking Boortmalt to consider tweaking the quality criteria, where current barley intakes are concerned,” McEvoy continued.

“This should be possible in the case of high protein and kph values. Our aim is to maximise the number of growers producing eligible crops at the present time,” McEvoy added.

IFA had asked for a meeting with Boortmalt continuously all season. On two occasions, meetings were arranged but cancelled by Boortmalt at short notice, according to the IFA.

Tillage harvest

Meanwhile, McEvoy confirmed that a full meeting of the IFA Grain Committee will take place on Friday, September 15.

The event will provide IFA with a first opportunity to assess the outcome of the 2023 harvest.

“We already know that yields are well back, year-on-year, as are grain prices,” McEvoy said.

“Issues relating to straw quality and drying charges are also confronting growers. The reality is that a significant number of tillage farmers will need additional support over the coming months.”

Where the Food Vision Tillage Group is concerned, the IFA representative is still expecting a response from agriculture minister Charlie McConalogue prior to this year’s Ploughing in relation to an internal document previously supplied to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.