Climate Change Impacts Barley Production

Milwaukee, WI – May 17, 2018 – The major malting barley growing regions of the US extend from the Northern Great Plains, through the intermountain mountains and into the Pacific Northwest.  A diverse geography that is being impacted by climate change in different ways requires a multidisciplinary approach to the development of adapted barley varieties.  Temperatures across the region are predicted to increase in the coming years.  North Dakota has seen the fastest increase in temperature in the contiguous 48 states, mainly through warming winters.  The increases in the Pacific Northwest are expected to be largest during the summer growing season.

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LED Lights for Speed Breeding

Speed Breeding Greenhouse Using a speed growing technique that employs LED lights has the potential to dramatically accelerate the process of breeding better-performing crops, according to researchers at John Innes Centre in England and Australian institutions, the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney. Results of the study appeared in January in the scientific journal Nature Plants. The new speed breeding technique means that it’s now possible to grow six generations of wheat every year—a threefold increase over current growth rates.  View Article

Montana Barley Fields Become Front Line For Climate Change

A bumper sticker spotted in Montana reads, “No barley, no beer.” It’s a reminder that Montana’s barley farmers are struggling. Barley is an unforgiving crop that needs a precise recipe of water and sunshine to thrive — too much of either will cause it to wither and die. And amid a changing climate and unpredictable seasons, that’s exactly what’s happening.

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Expanded Malting Barley Research in the Eastern US Benefits Enti

Milwaukee, WI – May 4, 2017 – The interest in growing malting barley has expanded across the US in the last several years and necessitated the need for additional crop research.  This research ranges from trials to find current cultivars suitable for a new region, to breeding programs developing new varieties with the disease resistance and other traits to allow for profitable production.  The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) has helped to foster this research whenever its resources have allowed it to do so.The growth in the number of brewers and distillers in the eastern US, and the movement to source ingredients locally has created a new market for malting barley in the region.  Some states have added tax incentives to further cultivate these markets.  Malting companies and farmers are searching for the malting cultivars that have the desired quality and will grow in the region.

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AMBA Board Approves 2016-2017 Barley Research Grant Funding

The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) Board of Directors has approved funding of $561,660 for its July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 grant fiscal year for 27 research projects, which includes additional support for research provided by members Rahr Malting and Harpoon Brewery, and nonmember funding provided by the Michigan Brewers Guild.

Barley breeding and genetics programs in eleven states, CA, ID, MN, MT, NE, NC, ND, OH, OR, VA, WA, will receive the majority of funding, with the remainder of the funds provided to other supporting research projects on diseases, insect pests, variety evaluation, production, management, and malting quality.

The research grant program is directed at meeting AMBA’s mission to encourage and support an adequate supply of high quality malting barley for the malting, brewing, distilling, and food industries and increase our understanding of malting barley, and AMBA’s vision to be the leader in improvement, development, and understanding of malting barley. AMBA has 27 Regular voting members and 53 Associate members.

2016/2017 Funded Projects

Mike Davis, Ph.D.
President
American Malting Barley Association, Inc.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
www.AMBAinc.org

Growers and Industry Advocate for Barley

Washington, DC – February 10, 2016 – The producers and end-users of barley met February 1-3, 2016 in Washington, DC to promote the interests of barley.  The National Barley Growers Association (NBGA), which has historically been funded by state grower organizations, now gets at least half of its support from brewing end users and life science companies.  Interest from end users has increased as barley has gone from being a major feed grain to being primarily processed into malt for use by the food, beer and distilling industries.

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Positive Train Control (PTC) Threatens 2016 Rail Shipments

Positive Train Control (PTC) is a GPS safety system designed to prevent collisions and derailments on our nation’s railroads.  In 2008, Congress mandated that all rail lines that carry substances that are ‘toxic by inhalation’ must have PTC in place by the end of 2015 or face significant fines.

Railroads have been telling Congress that they will not meet this deadline for the last couple of years and have requested an extension on implementing PTC.  The Association of American Railroads, Government Accounting Office (GAO), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have unequivocally confirmed that PTC will not be implemented by the deadline.

Recently, railroads have indicated that rail traffic will cease January 1 on lines required to have PTC in place if the deadline is not extended.  The Senate passed a Highway bill that included a PTC deadline extension until 2018, but the House has only passed a short term transportation funding extension as yet.  Congress will have to come up with some deadline extension plan for PTC or there will be serious service interruptions (freight and passenger) beginning in 2016.

Below is a one pager put out by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) about PTC and links to a couple of recent press articles on the issue.

One Pager on PTC
Reuters
Argus Media

If you want to participate in a grassroots effort to extend the PTC deadline, you can do so here: http://www.impactchemistry.com/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=401

AMBA Board Approves 2015 Barley Research Grant Funding

The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) Board of Directors has approved funding of $576,610 for its July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 grant fiscal year.  This is an increase of $45,500 or 8.6% over last year and the second year that AMBA has been able to increase funding thanks to additional dues support provided by members Harpoon Brewery, Rahr Malting, and Sierra Nevada Brewing and additional sponsor funding provided by MBAA Mid-Atlantic District and the Michigan Brewers Guild.

Barley breeding and genetics programs in eleven states, CA, ID, MN, MT, NE, OH, OR, NC, ND, VA, WA, will receive the majority of funding at 68% of AMBA’s research budget.  Disease and insect pest research will receive 16%, as will national/basic research, primarily on malting quality.

The research grant program is directed at meeting AMBA’s mission to encourage and support an adequate supply of high quality malting barley throughout the US for the malting, brewing, and distilling industries and AMBA’s vision to be the leader in improvement, development, and understanding of malting barley. AMBA has 24 Regular voting members and 56 Associate members.

Project Summaries

Michael P. Davis, Ph.D.
PresidentAmerican Malting Barley Association, Inc.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
www.AMBAinc.org