Iceland can grow five times more grain

21-04-2008 | |
Iceland can grow five times more grain

Last year 11,000 tons of barley were grown in Iceland, but grain farmers say it is possible to grow five times more grain and thus produce 75 percent of the grain needed to produce fodder for the local market. Farmers have criticized the authorities for a lack of support.

“Barley is about 75 percent of the grain used for concentrated feed in this
country. Last year about 39,000 tons of barley were imported for fodder
production. Other grain, wheat and maize, totaled 17,000 tons and it is possible
to reduce that amount and use barley instead,” Ingvar Björnsson, tillage expert
at Búgardur agricultural consultant agency in Akureyri.

“With growing
grain prices abroad, grain production in Iceland can easily compete with
imported fodder,” Björnsson said, adding that local grain farming is definitely
growing in popularity. “I predict that this type of farming will grow
extensively in the next few years. Farmers show great interest because it
doesn’t look like the price of imported grain is going to drop.”

Pig
farmer Hördur Hardarson said 70 percent of the fodder he uses was made with
locally-grown grain. “If grain farmers in Iceland received as much support as in
the other Nordic countries, or in the EU, Iceland could produce all the barley
it needs for fodder in only a few years.” Hardarson grows barley himself and
also purchases grain from other farmers in his region. “We aim towards producing
all the fodder we need ourselves and for that to happen we have to grow more
than 800 tons of barley. We believe it is a realistic goal.”

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source: Icelandreview

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