Gladfield Malting Barley Shield Winners 2019 Season

The Gladfield Malting Barley shield was won this year by Altonbrook farm situated between Lakeside and Southbridge and owned by Lyell and Val McMillian It was awarded for a line of Tavern Barley
The McMillians run an extensive arable operation of over 680 Hectares, growing a wide range of crops from Wheat, Barley through to small seeds such as radish, linseed and clover. They also breed and fatten livestock all year round. Stu Macauley is their farm manager They have 3 other full time workers and some seasonal staff.
The shield is awarded each year to the grower who delivers the best malting barley sample for the Gladfield malting company.
The presentation of the shield this year has been delayed for obvious reasons however Gladfield owner and operations manager Doug Michael said the barley delivered from Alton Brook for the2018- 2019 harvest season stood out from the rest with exceptional test weights, clean bright colour, low Nitrogen and good even germination. Another stand out was the size of the line delivered. Altonbrook has consistently delivered good even lines of Malting barley despite some trying growing conditions over previous years.
The current harvest crop 2019- 2020 which is currently being received in the maltings is looking magnificent with about 1/3 of the crop delivered so far. Stuart Watt, Grain trader for PGGWrightson Grain commented, this year’s harvest was a bumper with very few lines not meeting the quality specifications needed to make quality malt for Gladfield. PGGWrightson Grain who work exclusively with Gladfield managing the barley procurement side of things, are a key partner ensuring quality and consistency.
It was a great growing season last year followed by excellent warm dry harvest conditions. It has meant record yields right across the board in all the regions that Gladfield growers supply from. “It’s going to be tough selecting a winner for the recent harvest once we have received all the barley at the end of the year, that’s for sure”, says Mr Michael. “We noticed that it was the first time for a number of years where some of the new varieties stood out and showed their true ability to yield with the obvious absence of Ramularia”. Ramularia is a barley fungal disease that has proved hard to suppress over recent times.
The farmers needed a good harvest it is not an easy game to play, you have a lot of unpredictable challenges and if you don’t have a win every now and then, it’s hard to survive.
Hopefully, the recent events will inspire people to get out and support local and appreciate the effort and sacrifice of all those involved from the grower right through to the shop, bar or restaurant owner.
Gladfield is committed to the local community and appreciates the support it gets from its grower suppliers, they are awesome!