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Budweiser Barley Contract Offers Added Security for 2021

News - 17.12.20

For the greatest security in uncertain times, the Explorer spring barley contract for British Budweiser brewing through Viterra UK Ltd provides the additional guarantee of a minimum premium for the first time ever this season.

This is on top of a 1.75-2.05% nitrogen specification well-suited to the heavier land the variety prefers and a guaranteed local market unaffected by export concerns in a post-EU world. Add in Explorer’s particular speed of growth, tremendous grassweed competitiveness and early maturity – not to mention the buyback’s movement flexibility – and contract-growing for Budweiser offers an especially valuable all-round risk management tool.

“With the winter wheat area rebounding strongly from last season and more ‘normal’ spring cereal plantings, we expect feed barley prices to be much closer to wheat values for Harvest ’21,” says Agrii head of seed, Lee Robinson. “We also foresee malting premiums maintaining their recent firmness to offer improved prospects for UK growers.

“After the disappointing barley markets of the past two years, though, we and Viterra feel it is only right we underline our commitment to Explorer growers with the additional assurance of a guaranteed minimum premium over feed barley through our 2021 buyback contract.”

The enthusiastic uptake of Explorer growing since the launch of the first contract in 2015 means Budweiser has been able to progressively replace all its previously-imported supplies for British brewing with home-grown barley. Sourcing 100% of its barley from British growers – as it now does – has both reduced Budweiser’s carbon footprint and improved its production security.

The iconic brewer continues to work closely with its maltsters, Viterra and Agrii to consolidate and extend contract-growing to meet its ambitious UK market development plans. This provides heavy land growers in East Anglia, the Eastern Counties, East Midlands and Central Southern England, in particular, with valuable extra spring cropping security as well as margin-earning and blackgrass management opportunities.

Having grown Explorer on the Budweiser contract from the beginning, Northamptonshire grower, Nick Paton of Wakefield Estate particularly values the variety’s ability to come out of the ground running and great competitiveness in spring cropping on his heavy soils.

“The backup we get from Agrii gives us the confidence to commit up to a third of our annual cropping to Explorer every year, allowing us to make significant improvements in our black-grass control while earning respectable margins,” he points out. “Being part of a group supplying all the barley for premium quality British-brewed Budweiser is a source of considerable pride for us.”

If you’d like to find out more about the Harvest 2021 Explorer Contract, view our flyer here, or please get in touch with your usual Agrii or Viterra contact for more details, or contact:
The Agrii Seed Desk on 01277 898202, email, or
Viterra on 01844 261261, email

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