The Australian harvest is underway in many parts of the country and what a contrast this season is compared to last year! The rain last harvest left good sub-soil moisture for the barley this year and that coupled with a dry finish is looking like the perfect mix for Malting Barley.
Northern New South Wales and Queensland, again coped the rough end of the stick, with near drought conditions and the expectation is that this area will need to import around 2.5 million tonnes of grain to help supplement the feedlots, chooks and piggeries in the area.
Victoria and Southern NSW however have been blessed with timely rain in the growing season and will see good yields and potentially good quality barley. This years numbers show 3.2 million tonnes of production for barley in our sourcing area and early numbers are showing that up to 50% of barley is meeting malt barley specs, which is a phenomenal result!
The main varieties this year are again Spartacus and Maximus, with Planet making a bigger comeback than Tom Brady! There are plenty of new varieties coming through the ranks of malt accreditation, which is exciting. The Australian Barley Breeders have been to China, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Argentina in the last 2 months promoting the success we are having here locally in Australia.
Moving around the globe, the geo-political events have simmered into the background. China is once again buying Australian Barley and has reportedly bought 3 million tonnes since August. Russia and Ukraine are fighting a war, whilst also growing crops and exporting them to the world. Australia’s crop is in high demand this year, and it looks like this season will produce a pearler!
At Malteurop we are excited by what our growers are looking at harvesting this year and we hope it turns into a nice beer and whisky at the end of the day.
Eric Fisher | Grain Sourcing Specialist
Malteurop Australia and New Zealand