Update: Harvest is in full swing!
During the next several weeks 4 million pounds of grain, five different barley varieties and three wheat varieties, will pass through the Skagit Valley Malting granary and into our silos. Beginning the first week of August, we received our first grain of the 2018 harvest. Things started off with 70 tons of winter barley and then a week later we began to receive our first of 700 tons of Copeland barley. This is an exciting harvest for SVM, we are especially excited to have NZ-151 in organic for the first time ever, we are also eager to malt a new variety of barley, Francin, a European barley originally grown in the Czech Republic.
Where will we put it?
Harvest is an intense month of moving tons of grain from surrounding fields into storage, we work closely with our farmers to ensure the barley is handled properly and maintains the highest quality possible. SVM will constantly be making improvements to our granary and investing in the infrastructure required to make it work efficiently for everyone involved. This spring we increased our total storage capacity to over 8 million pounds, we now have six outdoor silos and two more inside our grain cleaning facility, we also invested in the grain receiving side of the business with improvements in trucking procedures and conveyance. Furthermore, inside our granary, we will store 500 tons of grain in plastic totes that hold 2,000 pounds each and can be stacked four high.
Once the grain is in storage, it will sit in dormancy for the next three to four months because the grain has been breed to resist pre-sprouting in the fields. Essentially if it rains a few weeks before or during harvest, the grain could germinate and no longer be maltable… that dormancy safeguard helps protect the grain from the risk of preharvest-sprouting. After the grain comes out of dormancy, it is time for malting, whence it will make its way to beer and whiskey.