Growing barley as a business

* The calculations use the average data for the World

Barley has been cultivated by man for many centuries and even millennia. This healthy crop was developed at about the same time as wheat. The popularity of barley is due primarily to its beneficial use as a feed crop; Thus, more than half of the cultivated barley goes to livestock feed. But a person also eats barley, and also uses it in the production of beer. Thus, the cultivation of barley can not be called a futile occupation.

Barley, as a very small number of cereal crops, can be spring and winter. Winter barley is traditionally considered more difficult to cultivate, as it tolerates severe frosts very poorly, which means that any deviation from the norm in winter deprives the farmer of part of the crop. It is generally accepted to grow the spring variety of this plant, which reduces the risk of losing a significant portion of the cultivated barley. But even planted with a little delay, barley can be subjected to diseases and more severe pests, which also adversely affects productivity. It is necessary to determine the sowing dates and its norms in direct proportion to the selected variety and the region in which farming begins. Despite the abundance of varieties, humans use only one type of barley - Hordéum vulgáre - all other species are wild-growing and are not of interest to humans.

To start your agricultural business, you need to register a business entity. When you have your own plot in the countryside, it is best to register a peasant farm - peasant farm. Another advantage is that the state can provide subsidies to agriculture, and therefore, an officially registered farmer has a chance to get support. However, in agriculture, you should never rely on luck, it all depends on the farmer himself. The code of activity for the cultivation of barley is (OKPD 2) 08/18/2019 Barley, rye and oats. It is unlikely that problems will arise at the registration stage, since today the state strives for the most part to help peasants, or at least not to prevent them from trying to do their own thing. It is worth stocking up with 20 thousand rubles and about a month time to solve all bureaucratic issues.

Barley is best grown a lot, as much as possible. The fact is that fodder crops have smaller fluctuations in supply and demand - the animals that they feed cannot dictate their conditions and have their own preferences. They are fed with what they always fed, and while there are livestock farms, there will be a demand for feed cereals. Pigs are especially fond of barley, or rather, they are most often fed with barley, so it’s worth immediately focusing on pig farms in the nearest district - they can become the main consumers of products. But in addition to feed varieties, you can also grow food, either combining their cultivation, or completely preferring one of the types.

For the cultivation of barley, you can allocate about 100 hectares of land, if it is not owned, then you can rent. A lease agreement is rarely possible to conclude for less than a year, but in any case, the farmer will have to engage in his own culture for one season, so long-term agreements have the highest priority. The cost of a hectare of land per year varies greatly from region to region, the highest price can be in chernozem areas - up to three and a half thousand rubles. In the central regions of Russia, it drops to an average of two thousand, and in colder territories it may even amount to 500 rubles. But it is unlikely that barley can be grown where it is very cold, this plant is intolerable even to temperatures just below zero, unless we are talking about winter varieties (but they do not tolerate more than -10 ° C).

For one hundred hectares of land, the annual rental cost will be 350 thousand rubles - but this is almost the maximum, which should be taken into account with such areas. The seeding rate is approximately the same as for all other cereal crops; so for one hectare of land you need about 200 kilograms of seeds, this indicator is averaged between all varieties and regions.

Thus, for sowing the whole territory you need 20 tons of seeds, the cost of one ton of seeds per sowing on average is 10 thousand rubles, that is, 200 thousand rudders are needed for the entire territory. In order for barley to grow well, it is recommended to plant it in the territory where other crops used to grow. A rare agronomist sows the same territory from year to year with only one plant. The constant use of the site for only one plant depletes the soil very much, depriving it of useful elements, while more and more weeds are gradually appearing, and subsequent seedlings have to deal with the growing pathogens that appear as a result of deposits of the same plant.

As elsewhere, it is better to transplant barley every year to a new place, cultivating some other plants with it. So, legumes, melons, root crops, corn, and potatoes will generally become good predecessors for barley.

If fodder barley is grown, it must be enriched with nitrogen, from which there is a need for additional nitrogen-containing fertilizers (in particular manure) and a recommendation for planting in places previously occupied by legumes - these plants enrich the soil with nitrogen compounds. For brewing barley, the conditions are somewhat different, it prefers such predecessors as winter cereals, potatoes, flax, sugar beets and corn, because it is after them that barley can receive the elements necessary for it to form a large amount of protein in its grains. Namely, this is the determining parameter for high-quality brewing barley.

Regular food barley is grown in accordance with general recommendations. But no matter how good the soil, fertilizers cannot be dispensed with. Barley is very demanding on the presence of mineral fertilizers, and in addition to the above nitrogen, it consumes a lot of phosphorus and potassium, so fertilizers need to be purchased additionally. Barley is also often exposed to agricultural pests, and they need to be scared away and poisoned from it. In the worst case scenario, up to 10 thousand rubles per hectare of sown area may be required, and thus up to a million rubles will have to be invested only to maintain cereal growth. However, under favorable conditions, this amount will be much less.

Barley is one of the fastest growing cereals; its varieties can be harvested as early as 100 days after sowing. This allows you to prepare a winter crop for sowing after harvesting barley, which makes the process of growing barley especially beneficial when combined with other plants cultivation.

Barley is sown in spring, the most heat-loving varieties are planted in May, the earliest - in early spring. But not only a delay in sowing, but also a delay in harvesting leads to a decrease in yield. If barley cannot be harvested on time, it begins to slope to the ground, breaking off and dropping the grain. As a result, a lot of empty grass remains, which is not even suitable for livestock feed. In the case of brewing varieties, this generally becomes especially critical, because it is grain that is important in it. For each variety, you need to know exactly the features of planting and harvesting, and it is best to be able to constantly consult with experienced agronomists. They can also be neighbors who worked in a lot of agriculture in the area.

Usually, there is no fierce competition between farmers, because if there is demand, the whole crop will be bought from all peasants. If there is no demand, then everyone will have difficulties. When different crops are grown in nearby plots, neighbors even help each other, for example, a livestock farmer gives manure, and a plant grower gives hay. Established relationships with owners of other sites can even save some money. In the future, other farmers can become a good distribution channel, especially for feed barley when selling it to livestock farmers who feed them a large number of cattle. Some peasants even benefit from a kind of barter, when one product is changed to another. But still, in addition to other farmers, it is better to sell barley also on the agricultural market (the largest amounts can be obtained there due to retail trade). But with wholesale sales you can get a one-time large revenue. All types of barley are bought up here: feed, and food, and brewing. As you can see, barley is used in many industries and agriculture, which makes the demand for it relatively stable. If you manage to keep barley in a suitable form for the winter, you will be able to earn the largest amounts, since the demand for cereals is especially high in the winter months, in particular in January.

In order to care for this culture, both working hands and appropriate equipment are needed. Machines are mostly universal, you need a tractor with a plow, harrowing equipment, as well as harvesting equipment. But it’s quite expensive to buy a combine harvester on your own, it’s easier to order the services of a combine harvester for the harvesting time, it will be much more profitable than buying a finished machine. Own technology will significantly increase the payback period of the entire project and reduce profitability.

If the farmer does not have even serious means to buy general equipment, then it is better not to save on quality by buying used equipment, but to take a loan or arrange leasing. Banks specializing in working with agricultural enterprises offer favorable leasing conditions, rarely requiring more than 30% of the down payment. As for working hands, it is not always possible to do it yourself or with the strength of your family or business partners. In this case, you can contact the nearest settlement, where the population is always happy to work part-time. As you know, the cost of such labor is not high, and the majority of workers are accustomed to agricultural work.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the cultivation of malting barley. This industry is most widespread, since a large amount of barley is required for malt, and brewing companies are experiencing an increase due to the increasing demand for this drink among the population. Typically, large breweries grow barley on their own for their needs, but they especially appreciate high-quality material with a high protein content in grain. It turns out that there is a need in the market for high-quality barley grain in enormous quantities, which allows farmers who have learned to grow a really good product to have a very profitable sales channel. Demand for these products will be while beer is being produced, and in the near future one should not expect a decrease in the consumption of this drink.

To improve the quality of brewing barley, fertilizers are enriched mainly in phosphorus and potassium, while reducing the amount of nitrogen. In the most favorable case, if brewing companies like the product, you can get good support from them, both material and in the form of providing land, equipment, labor or knowledge. But for this, you still need to be an experienced and knowledgeable agronomist.

As noted above, barley yields can vary greatly depending on many factors. The most important thing here is the timely landing and cleaning. Very strongly affect the culture and climatic conditions. Harvesting begins and has a favorable forecast if there are about 600 full-grain stems per square meter. The yield in winter varieties is slightly higher than in spring, but due to the increased vulnerability to temperature extremes and their strong decrease, in particular, winter barley takes a little more than 10% of the total volume of barley grown. A capricious culture can give completely different indicators depending on the type of soil, cultivation region, weather, variety, planting and harvesting time, fertilizers applied, pest control efficiency and a good choice of pesticides.

Previously used varieties had very modest yield indicators, but the seeds on them were very cheap, and fertilizers were not so expensive. Today it is worth using only varieties with a minimum yield of 4 tons per hectare.

Thus, it is possible to collect 400 tons from the whole territory, which will bring 2 million income with the condition of the price per ton of 5 thousand rubles. But with such indicators, barley cultivation cannot be called a very profitable undertaking due to the high costs of cultivation. And it is better to select varieties with the best yield indicators or to engage in food or malting barley, the price of which is slightly higher than that of feed barley. Yes, these products are subject to more stringent quality requirements, but if you work well and take care of your plants, then you can earn several times more income per season than if you leave the plants to develop on their own. For example, brewing barley can already be sold for 7 thousand rubles per ton, and with the same yield, income will increase by 800 thousand rubles. But here the best quality samples can be taken at more pleasant prices, but second-rate plants may be of no interest to anyone.

Barley is generally considered to be a more profitable crop than even wheat, because the latter requires large investments in its cultivation. Of course, it all depends on the region, and somewhere a bread plant will have a huge economic advantage over barley, but if you take average indicators, this cereal is somewhat more profitable. Demand for it is relatively stable, moreover, it is increasing, if we consider the brewing industry. But the disadvantages include increased risks of losing the entire crop. When cultivating barley, the difference between extensive and intensive farming is especially visible, because only the use of not those varieties that were bred relatively recently, but more obsolete ones, reduces the yield to 0.2 tons per hectare, which is devastating for the farmer.

When growing barley, you need to use all methods of increasing yields, rather than sown areas. This is the only way to achieve high profitability, renting additional sites will not bring significant profit, because each hectare has its own expenses. So, in some countries, breeders receive up to 9 tons of barley per hectare, which makes the use of such varieties very profitable farming.

If you evaluate the prospects, then no major changes can be expected, this culture has been cultivated by man for centuries, it has always been mainly fed by cattle, the man himself rarely uses barley for food. The most famous dish - barley porridge, which is prepared from pearl barley (refined barley) - is not very popular among the population due to its outstanding taste characteristics. It is also considered "food for the poor." Barley can also be exported, since whiskey is made from it abroad, it may be possible to find producers of Russian “whiskey” and sell it to barley.

Matthias Laudanum

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08/18/2019


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