GRAIN drying came under close scrutiny during a two-day workshop at Albany last month. Organised by the WA Grain Pool and Agriculture WA, the workshop agenda attracted grain growers from the Albany to Esperance, agricultural scientists, Grain Pool and Cooperative Bulk Handling staff, contractors and suppliers of equipment. It was chaired by the Grain Pool's research and business development manager Peter Portman. Opening the workshop, WA Grain Pool marketing general manager Alan Dagg said the prospects, short and long term, for barley sales were looking very positive. "Saudi Arabia is desperate for barley," he said. "In Europe and Canada, the demand is level with supply and consumption of beer picking up in Russia and eastern Europe. "Now it's producers' responsibility to produce top grain and drying plays a big part in your achieving that quality standard." His audience of 52 invited participants agreed with Mr Dagg that germination was the key factor in achieving top quality malting barley and that this depended on getting the barley into the bin in peak condition. "The south coast region is the key area in WA for growing malting barley," Mr Dagg said. "Let's get our heads together at this workshop with this in mind." Included in the workshop agenda were visits to experienced grain dryers Seed and Grain Technology (SGT) facility, Port of Albany, Albany Grain Drying, Albany, and graingrowers Leon Slattery, Kojaneerup, and Garry Hine, Wellstead.