This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Many producers say

they are unwilling to use so-called “commodity” barley from commercial growers in other parts of the world

elsewhere – and with the Scottish harvest being one of the last to be gathered in Europe, that search could have come up short, especially with the conditions affecting harvests in England, France and Germany. Many producers say they are unwilling to use so-

called “commodity” barley from commercial growers in other parts of the world, insisting that barley grown for malting in Scotland is quality assured. Happily, such a compromise is unlikely to be needed. On 13 October, 2011 came the news that every distiller, brewer, maltster and grain merchant had been waiting for. And it was good news – according to the first official Government estimates of the cereal and oilseed rape harvest, Scotland’s cereal harvest had produced the highest yield in 20 years, despite a delayed harvest due to the wet weather. You could almost hear the sighs of relief from across the country as maltsters and distillers made their plans for this year’s crop.

But some people in the industry claim that the

published figures may be too high, and they were waiting for the second tranche of figures to be released as Unfilter

ed went to press (December). Robin Barron is general manager at East of Scotland

Farmers, based at Coupar Angus, Perthshire. He said: “Most of my members are based within 25 miles of us and the average yields were below those that have been published so far. Perthshire got the worst of the weather, so perhaps yields elsewhere were high enough to bring the national average up.”


The biggest malting barley variety in

Scotland is Concerto, followed by Optic and Belgravia.

One barley grower argues that when demand for

Tonnes more facts

According to the latest Scottish Government figures, in 2011, barley production in Scotland increased by 284,000 tonnes (17 per cent), compared to 2010, to 1,949,000 tonnes.

The Scotch whisky industry uses about 700-750,000 tonnes of barley each year.


barley is high, the quality requirements of maltsters and distillers can be put aside in the fight to get enough grain to meet their needs. Francis Cuthbert, co-owner of the Daftmill Distillery

and Farm in Fife, said: “In a bad year when the crop is poor, suddenly all the requirements of farm-assured specific varieties with traceability disappear, and all the distillers need is barley that will germinate and turn into malt.” He added: “Scotland is one of the few places in

the world where barley is grown specifically for pot- stilling. Places like Denmark, which has a similar climate to Scotland, produces a lot of lager malt for Carlsberg. Denmark has, in the past, shipped malt across to Scotland for distilling.” Barley is Scotland’s most important cereal crop by

output, and its contribution to Scottish agricultural output is exceeded only by cattle and dairy production. It has also been estimated that, through continuous improvement techniques, there could be more than 100,000 different varieties of barley in use in the world today. The Scotch whisky industry is a major user of malt

from low nitrogen barley, and the malting companies use around 700-750,000 tonnes of malting barley every year (source: Francis Cuthbert uses the Concerto variety for his

own whisky production and to sell on to the maltsters. He said: “We grew around 700-800 tonnes in three

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36