Barley is one of the main crops in Europe.
It is this plant that tolerates the local climate best of all, and therefore it is most actively used by European farmers. In Europe, beer is made from barley, and this crop is also grown for animal feed.
Europe’s place in the world market for growing barley
In general, barley ranks fourth in popularity among farmers around the world. Since 1961, this crop began to be grown twice as often, and in 1991 this figure peaked – 170 million tons. At the same time, over the past decades, the demand for barley has decreased by 78%, which also affected the harvest of this crop. The reason for this was the increased popularity of other crops, for example, reps, which can be used not only in agriculture, but also in industry. However, EU countries continue to pursue this culture. So, the largest area with crops is in Spain, where 2.7 million hectares are grown. According to statistics, this crop is also grown no less actively in Germany and France. Nevertheless, the sown areas of all European countries are significantly inferior to Ukraine and Russia, where the main crops of barley are concentrated. But in Europe, they are more actively engaged in the processing of this crop, purchasing grain from Ukraine, which is geographically closest to the EU. This significantly reduces the cost of delivering products, which is more beneficial for European farmers.
Nevertheless, the export of this crop from Ukraine has its own characteristics, which are directly related to the requirements of the European market. In particular, all products must be certified and have appropriate quality documents that confirm the safety of grain during cultivation and collection. Without this, supplies of Ukrainian barley to the EU are impossible.
Barley can be grown only if several conditions are met and the necessary care for crops at different stages of their development. In particular, for the cultivation of this crop, there must be appropriate weather, because during cool, cloudy days, its growth in the first stage slows down significantly. During the development phase, the culture needs a lot of nutrients from the soil, and during the fruiting phase, the culture needs feeding with carbohydrates, which will ensure its safety after harvest.
In addition, it should be remembered that there are also winter types of barley, which develop most actively in the spring. These varieties need to be grown according to more stringent canons, since after winter there are not enough nutrients in the soil that are necessary for the development of spikelets. And taking into account the EU requirements for the certification of goods, Ukrainian farmers need to strictly adhere to the rules for the introduction of soil dressings permitted in Europe, because just one prohibited means – and the entire crop will already be unsuitable for export. However, Ukrainian farmers are already familiar with EU quality standards and try to adhere to them when growing this crop.