Glanbia Ireland is aiming to extend the acreage sown to gluten-free oat crops amid increasing demand amongst consumers for these products.
“Gluten-free oats is a premium grain and delivers better opportunities for farmers. We plan to double the acreage, albeit off of a small base, to keep pace with growing demands for gluten-free produce,” said Glanbia Ireland’s Head of Grains John Kealy. The crop attracts a premium of €40/tonne over green wheat price, with all harvesting and transport carried out by Glanbia Ireland using dedicated gluten-free machinery. All seeds are purchased through Glanbia Ireland as the crop requires extremely strict specifications to deliver food-grade gluten-free produce. Previously, Glanbia Ireland’s gluten-free oat crops were mainly grown in the Kildare, Laois and Carlow region. However, the Premium Grains team are looking to extend the landbase sown to gluten-free outside of this area in cases where farms can meet certain criteria. Glanbia Ireland’s Grain Quality Operations Manager, Mariea O’Toole, said: “We are looking for farmers with suitable rotations on their land to suit this crop which has to be sown either after a non-cereal break crop or grass. There are specific requirements that a potential grower’s land has to meet before it would be considered suitable to sow this crop, such as having low levels of wild oats or invasive brome. “There are other factors that have to be taken into account such as farm size and field access, as dedicated gluten-free machinery would have to be brought to the area for harvest.”
Glabia Ireland is inviting farmers to come and talk to the Glanbia Ireland Agronomy Team at the Ploughing Championships - Block 2 - Row 5 - Stand 114 - to assess their farm’s suitability for growing the crop.