Final 2021 U.S. Barley Production and December Quarterly Stock Reports

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released their annual 2021 Crop Production and their quarterly Grain Stocks reports on January 12, 2022 at noon EST.  Summaries of these reports are posted to the AMBA website.

Production – Production was estimated at 118 million bushels, down 31 percent from the 2020 total of 171 million bushels. The average yield, at 60.4 bushels per acre, was down 16.8 bushels from the previous year. Producers seeded 2.66 million acres in 2021, down 2 percent from 2020. Harvested area, at 1.95 million acres, was down 12 percent from 2020.

Stocks – Barley stored in all positions on December 1, 2021 totaled 97.6 million bushels, down 34 percent from December 1, 2020. On-farm stocks are estimated at 43.1 million bushels, 49 percent below a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 54.5 million bushels, are 14 percent below December 2020. The September – November 2021 indicated disappearance is 37.8 million bushels, 23 percent above the same period a year earlier.

Look for an updated Grain Stocks report and a Prospective Plantings report posted on the AMBA website on March 31, 2022. 

2021 Barley Variety Survey Maps

The American Malting Barley Association conducts a confidential survey of its members contracting malting barley each year. The data for the major barley producing states is combined and reported as percentages of the acreage planted by state and crop reporting districts. The 2021 variety survey maps and past maps can be found posted on the AMBA website here.

Increased staffing realized at the USDA-ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit

The USDA-ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit (CCRU) in Madison, WI realized pandemic related shutdowns most of 2020 and had been operating with only 25% staffing in 2021. The lab is critical infrastructure for the barley industry by providing malting quality analysis for public breeding programs in the US. The reduced staffing has resulted in a large backlog of breeder’s samples from the 2019 and 2020 crop years. On October 1, the USDA-ARS announced that the 25% staffing would continue until January 2022. AMBA contacted the ARS Area Director, Dr. Alberto Pantoja, explaining our concerns and pointed out the large building footprint in relation to the modest staff number. We are happy to report that the CCRU has been given permission to expand to 100% staffing. We are grateful that USDA-ARS has responded to our request. Employees may opt to continue with remote work, so not all staff will return immediately. Acting Research Leader, Dr. Mali Mahalingam, is allowing for expanded hours and staggered shifts to increase individuals comfort/willingness with returning to on-site work. AMBA recognizes the burden the pandemic has placed on many of our members and researchers, and we are here to support and help navigate these challenges.

Ashley McFarland to Become Vice President and Technical Director of the American Malting Barley Association

Milwaukee, WI – September 21, 2021 – The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) is pleased to announce Ashley McFarland as the new Vice President-Technical Director, a position previously held by Scott Heisel who will assume the role of President October 1st when retiring President, Mike Davis becomes Senior Advisor.

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Milwaukee, WI – January 13, 2020 – The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) Board of Directors approved the addition of AAC Connect, LCS Odyssey, Moravian 164 and Moravian 170 to the recommended list of malting barley varieties for 2020. AMBA is a trade association of brewing, distilling and malting companies and the list is meant to inform US producers on the malting varieties that the industry will be using in the coming year. Not all varieties will be used in large quantities and growers are encouraged to contact their local elevator, grain handler or processor to gauge market demand for any variety grown in their region prior to seeding.

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Evaluating 2019 Crop Malting Barley for Preharvest Sprouting

Milwaukee – September 9, 2019 – As with many other crops, the seeding of barley was delayed in some areas due to the cool-wet spring. One consequence has been a later and longer harvest period. “This drawn out harvest has increased the chances of small grains getting rained on and sprouting in the field,” according to Marvin Zutz, Executive Director of the Minnesota Barley Growers. “It appears that much of the barley was harvested prior to the rain in Minnesota, but a significant portion of the crop in North Dakota did not get taken off in time. Other states may have regions affected as well.”

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AMBA Recommended Malting Barley Varieties Update for 2019

Milwaukee – July 9, 2019 – The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) Board of Directors added the following variety to the recommended list of malting barley varieties for 2019. LCS Violetta, a winter two-row malting variety, was developed by Saatzucht Breun in Germany and is marketed in the US by Limagrain Cereal Seeds.  It has performed well in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, but may not perform as well in the upper Midwest and northeast during severe winters.

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Barley Growers Meet in Washington

Washington, DC – February 14, 2019 – The National Barley Growers Association (NBGA) – whose members include growers, brewers, maltsters, and life science companies – met for their annual winter board meeting in Washington DC Feb 6-8, 2019.

NBGA members also met with their congressional representatives to advocate for their policy priorities, including passage of the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), lifting of the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, permanent beer excise tax reform, and funding for the Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative as well as the Small Grains Genomic Initiative.

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