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Malting Barley – June 2022

To All Growers of Malting Barley


With harvest fast approaching we thought we would just cover a few of the pertinent points around crops and harvest protocols.

Grain Sampling

Given the success of the last two years of you taking your own samples, we are wedded to this approach and it has certainly helped in getting a more accurate picture than seasonal staff sticking a spear into bulks. The inefficiencies of several different companies sampling the same heap clearly needs to change and you should be aware that some insurance companies are not keen on non-members of staff entering your grain stores and climbing heaps, well worth checking your cover.

Taking samples as grain comes into store is clearly going to provide yourselves and ourselves with a more accurate picture of what you have got and therefore avoid any issues. Please see the link below to our Farm Sampling Guide:

Farm Sampling Guide


We are happy to collect your intake samples but will also send Freepost envelopes and sample bags for you to send them back to us, we can also arrange a courier service if you would prefer.

Please speak to Jackie Fry, your usual RAL contact or e-mail:

If we spot anomalies or heaps need sampling again during the season, we can organise to do this with you.

Moisture Meters

You do not need us to advise you that getting meters calibrated regularly is hugely important. Drying costs this year need to be avoided, minimised at all costs. Barley is a constant headache with farm meters regularly reading below the industry standard Infratecs. Please ensure you get your meters checked against NEW CROP BARLEY SAMPLES or get your meters to a TASCC accredited laboratory for checking, it could save you a lot of money this year.

We are happy to send out samples of known moisture content for you, please speak to us if you need some guidance.


There has not been an influx of new drivers or new lorries into the bulk sector, this, coupled with a bigger wheat crop will cause issues with lorry availability. We are well served with haulage and with winter barley crops coming off well before others we should be able to get up and running fairly well. Please ensure good communication with haulage companies and flexibility around loading would be of huge benefit to everyone.


We are hoping that with better weather conditions witnessed this June we may not run into the same sort of ergot issues as last year. Whilst grass weed crops are clearly a problem and a host the dull/wet weather last year was the main problem, please keep an eye out as crops come in to store.


The extraordinary market conditions witnessed this year have served as a complete game changer and crop 2023 contracts reflect that. Please speak to us re crop 2023 terms as your cropping plans become clearer. Demand remains very strong for Maris Otter & Winter malting barley and forward contracts reflect that.

Wishing you all the best for a successful and dry harvest 2022, please make use of our laboratory facilities at Waltham Chase and Fisherton and talk to your usual RAL contact with any issues or queries you may have, or e-mail: