07 August 1997
…1997 could be a one-off season

Re "Growers bear all the risk"

WHERE has BCE been? asks David Millar.

BCE has been promoting UK cereals, including malting barley, to buyers overseas. Of course, we are up-to-date with the market – I myself grow malting barley and know the pain of producing the crop in 1997.

Creating demand for malting barley has to go hand in hand with our supply capability – that is why BCE wants all the information it can pull together on where growers and others think these new varieties are heading.

BCE cannot tell buyers that the UK can offer substantial and consistent supplies, if these supplies will not be available. Equally, we should be promoting the varieties which have a future, not those which are going to fade. We need as clear as possible a picture of what will be planted for next year, and why.

My own view is that 1997 could be a one-off year for malting barley demand, for quality and for the monetary situation.

Barclay Forrest, Duns, Berwickshire.