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E-Malt.com News article: USA, ID: Top-quality malting barley sold for cattle rations
Barley news

Idaho grain companies have been buying loads of top-quality malting barley to blend into cattle rations, providing a market for surplus production growers have been unable to sell to the major malting companies, Capital Press reported on November 14.

Idaho growers raised more than 62 million bushels of quality malt barley this season, up 10 percent from the prior year, according to the Idaho Barley Commission.

IBC has been working with existing buyers, Mexican beer manufacturers and Latin American growth markets to move as much of the surplus as possible, and encouraged growers with storage to be patient while options are explored. Grain buyers Scoular and Lansing Trade Group vow they’ll find a home in feeding channels for unwanted malt — and many growers without sufficient grain storage have already taken them up on their offer, selling at about half the malt value.

Growers have reported malting companies have been hesitant to buy surplus production beyond contract volumes — even of the best malt — and have also indicated their intentions to contract for about 15 percent less acreage next season.

Many growers, such as Derek Reed of Idaho Falls, are still waiting to see if malting companies will buy some of their overages, though malting companies are wary of storing grain too long on farms due to the potential of insect contamination. Reed, who raised 1,000 acres of barley for Anheuser-Busch, said his yields were up and his quality was exceptional, with abnormally plump kernels.

“I haven’t been trying to find a home for it yet. I’m waiting to see what they’re going to do, if they’ll take a little bit of our overage,” Reed said, adding he’ll pursue other channels once Busch makes a decision.

Dan Christensen, who raises malt barley for Busch in Niter, plans to sell some of his overage now for feed and hold on to some in case better options surface later.

Next season, he may not farm all of his ground to avoid raising crops at a loss.

“We’ll just summer fallow some ground, that’s all there is to it,” Christensen said.

Denis Capson, a Scoular merchandiser for Eastern Idaho, said last year’s malt contracts ranged from $12 to $12.50 per hundredweight, and current malt prices are $8 to $8.50. Scoular is paying about $6.15 per hundredweight of delivered barley. Capson warned growers, though, barley could flood the feeding market if too many of them wait until next spring to sell.

“We have the ability to use the barley, now,” Capson said.

Evan Jerke, a Scoular grain merchandiser in Jerome, said the company marketed 750,000 bushels of malt barley for feed shortly after harvest in the Magic Valley. Barley delivered to Scoular in Jerome is mostly selling to local dairies, and loads delivered to Bancroft are being loaded on rail cars for delivery to other regions.

Lansing Trade Group merchandiser James Siminowski said his company is paying about $6 per hundredweight for barley but will pick it up from the grower and deliver it to the end user. Siminowski noted most of the malt raised is proprietary and can’t be sold to competing brewers.

30 November, 2016

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