Boortmalt has informed growers that the Dalton’s Athy intake will close on Thursday 11 August at 8pm.

The text message to growers states that the intake will reopen on Monday 15 August.

This week is the busiest week of the harvest so far. Farmers are rushing to get grain cut in the heatwave, as moisture contents fall to extremely low levels, below 12% in many cases.

The intake closure means that many Boortmalt suppliers will not be able to deliver their grain. Many farmers do not have storage facilities on their farms, while more will soon run out of storage space as they continue to harvest crops.

Barley arriving at the plant, although high in moisture, would still need to be processed, but, as it is so dry, this process should be quicker.

Energy cut

The announcement comes after farmers heard of being hit with a drying and energy charge this week of €12.50/t, the equivalent of a €250 penalty on a 20t trailer of grain.

As growers harvested barley this week, they were informed that the split of brewing and distilling barley of 70% and 30% respectively will not be worked out in-house and will be left to the farmer.

Surplus barley

There is also no leeway on brewing and distilling specifications. Distilling barley must be under 8.8% protein, while brewing must be between 8.8% and 10.8%.

Any surplus barley will be paid at feed price, according to Boortmalt.

This feed price has not been disclosed and if a farmer delivers 35t of distilling barley when only 30t is required, farmers are reporting that the 5t is not removed to a feed heap, despite receiving feed price.