Maris Otter

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Midlands
Needs a bigger premium than the current one on offer! It just doesn't cover the risk premium over 7-8 t/ha of low input 2 row feed barley. My neighbours grow it for Robin Appel for Warminster Maltings. 1 year in 5 it gets rejected for malting & at least 2 of the others it is subject to hefty claims for lower germ, screenings etc.

IMO if you grew a small manageable area it would be worth a punt but grow feed barley too & see how often the Maris Otter gets a higher net margin!
 

Widgetone

Member
Trade
Location
Westish Suffolk
Needs a bigger premium than the current one on offer! It just doesn't cover the risk premium over 7-8 t/ha of low input 2 row feed barley. My neighbours grow it for Robin Appel for Warminster Maltings. 1 year in 5 it gets rejected for malting & at least 2 of the others it is subject to hefty claims for lower germ, screenings etc.

IMO if you grew a small manageable area it would be worth a punt but grow feed barley too & see how often the Maris Otter gets a higher net margin!
Similar in Norfolk, needs a high success rate to make the risk/reward ratio worthwhile, bit like niche arable cropping!
Are RA a good merchant, heard mixed reviews? I like it that they are independent, a dying breed.
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Midlands
I've got on ok with Robin Appel in the past. They can be a bit trigger happy to claim for something not in the contract which is why I don't sell them much now but otherwise everything was pretty good.
 

Phil P

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
North West
We grew it for a few years and the best advice I can offer Is don’t bother! By the time all the claims have been taken off or it gets rejected it’s not worth the hassle. You may get lucky but it will come round and bite you on the ass eventually.
 

bobk

Member
Location
stafford
We grew it for a few years and the best advice I can offer Is don’t bother! By the time all the claims have been taken off or it gets rejected it’s not worth the hassle. You may get lucky but it will come round and bite you on the ass eventually.
So , basically they want it but don't wish to pay the premium it should retain . how sad .
 

R.B.H

Member
Location
Bedfordshire
Looks like another idea best avoided, did see ad in book somewhere and started thinking about it as we had grown it years ago . If it paid so well they wouldn't have to advertise to get people to grow it.
 

Qman

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Near Derby
It's odd that the maltsters are so fussy about the barley they buy and if it isn't right you lose maybe thousands of pounds. I now find it difficult to get a decent pint of real ale and when you say anything they often ask if you've been eating onions!

More and more pubs concentrate on food, sourced locally at the cheapest cash and carry and have youngsters who don't know how to keep the beer. No wonder so many go to the wall every month.

I used to grow Maris Otter many years ago and used to try to sell it for malt. I was never successful and they usually had several reasons for rejecting it. I seem to remember it went flat and was full of disease, I ain't growing it again.
 
If land has been arable for many years and had depleated organic matter can grow malting barley even on heavy land

In the 1950s and 1960s a lot of land that was ploughed up in the 1940s had higher organic matter than now so when spring barley was grown the n level was too high

I have grown spring barley since 2013 and usually get under 1.85 n
We now struggle to grow 13% protein wheat compared to the 1980s whatever n we apply
 

southernfarmer

New Member
Maris Otter should only be grown by good malting barley growers on the right ground, it works really well and is an added value cropping opportunity for a growing market, sort of thing we should be looking at. Farmers must stop whinging about allowances, far better to take them than get a rejection. As producers farmers must establish what we are selling far better than at present, be thankful we have these markets and demand , don't everyone start growing it, stick to your feed barley but really see where the fun or return is in that.
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Midlands
This farmer isn't growing Maris Otter because he can make more money growing 8 t/ha of winter feed barley instead. I don't care if it's a growing craft beer market if it's not paying my rent. 1/3 of my farm is in spring malting barley for the mass market & I have had one bad year in 8 (2015) where half my 6.8 t/ha Propino was only feed due to an August deluge that knackered the germination before I could harvest it. Every other year it makes full malting grade and certainly costs less to grow than Maris Otter.

I'm out, but will look at it again when the premium justifies the risk. Yes, it's a good market for domestic use - my spring barley is mostly export grade but that might be closed if we can't export post Brexit. Come on Mr Appel - pay a bit more & I'll grow it for you! I'm only 40 minutes from your Warminster Maltings.
 
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southernfarmer

New Member
Think Brisel needs to change the batteries in the calculator, regularly acheiving 6.5t/ha plus of Otter and delighted to be involved in a top quality supply chain, where is the fun in producing cheap, commodity feed barley? luckliy not everyone can grow good quality malting barley and I love challenge and to feel part of something. marketing is something farmers are not good at , what other industry fills up stores with stock and invites people to come and buy it-and oh yes the buyer has to tell the farmer what he has got.Historic & not the way forward. Working more & more with merchants & end users and they have a vested interest in looking after us, which they do (Mr Appel included). Only a finite demand for these crops , things are changing so need to get ahead of the curve and collaborate more & more, come on mr buyer pay a bit more does not wash on the global market-BEWARE. Cannot compare spring barley to winter barley either, winter returns will not match spring but plenty of other reasons to grow it.
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Midlands
Please may you give a rough breakdown of a gross margin on Otter @southernfarmer ? No one around here regularly does 6.5 t/ha - I agree at that yield level and premium it would look considerably more attractive. Any tips on how to manage it would be gratefully received. Every day is a school day in here (y)

Producing cheap commodity feed barley isn't huge fun, but if it makes more than a high risk low reward alternative I'll play it safe for now.
 

southernfarmer

New Member
Please may you give a rough breakdown of a gross margin on Otter @southernfarmer ? No one around here regularly does 6.5 t/ha - I agree at that yield level and premium it would look considerably more attractive. Any tips on how to manage it would be gratefully received. Every day is a school day in here (y)

Producing cheap commodity feed barley isn't huge fun, but if it makes more than a high risk low reward alternative I'll play it safe for now.
With all due respect I am very protective of this sort of information and looking to increase area for 2020 and beyond so rather selfishly would rather keep it to myself, however do not use any PGR and max 120kg/ha of N , cheap to grow and ticks all the evironment boxes so clear when 'polluter pays' legislation comes in. Very quick harvest move to local store and premiums in excess of £60/t over feed barley. Been really well looked after on specs as well, although spec over the last few years has been phenomenal-specific weight last year 72kg/hl.
Feed barley is higher risk and pretty much plant & hope strategy, need to move on from that.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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