According Scotland’s chief statistician, barley production has grown from around 190,000 tonnes in 1914 to 2million tonnes last year. Figures also revealed the area of land used to grow barley has increased by 316% to more than 800,000 acres, from just under 200,000 acres. Yields have increased by 178% to 2.55 tonnes per acre, from just under one tonne per acre previously.
According to farm minister Richard Lochhead, around 30% of the 2013 crop – 600,000 tonnes – was used by the brewing and distilling industries. “Over the last 20 years, the barley area has represented around 70 per cent of the area of all cereals grown in Scotland, and around half of all crops,” said Mr Lochhead.
In the past 20 years, barley has made up around 70% of the area of cereals grown in Scotland and around half of all crops. In the first half of the 20th century, the area of barley grown in Scotland didn’t exceed 247,000 acres.
Let’s be blunt, and despite some peoples fondness of a wee dram, say clearly whisky isn’t a beneficial nutritious food and the barley not grown for food but as a cash-crop for the distilleries means it isn’t available for livestock or people.