Like wheat, barley is one of the first cultivated grains and is now grown widely with 1,080,000 hectares in the UK in 2014. Average yield is just under 6 tonnes per hectare and current price is just over £90 per tonne. Barley has remained a successful cereal crop because of its short growing time and ability to survive in poor conditions. Winter barleys are higher yielding but of poorer quality and are mostly used in animal feeds whereas the spring varieties are often used for malting. Each year the UK produces around 6.5 million tonnes of barley. Roughly 1.5 million tonnes are exported, 2 million tonnes are used in the brewing and distilling trades with 3 million tonnes being used for animal feed.

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