Barley Production – Versatile and Sustainable

Milwaukee, WI – May 14, 2015 – There have been significant changes to the pattern of barley production in the United States, but its importance in a variety of food products, regional use as a feed ingredient, and crop rotations make continued production essential.  With recent declines in acreage, barley’s primary end use has moved from feed grain to the higher value malting.Beer immediately comes to mind as a product made from barley malt, but considerable amounts are also used in distilling and by the food manufacturers.

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Ramping up Two-Rowed Malting Barley Development at North Dakota

Advances in two-rowed barley development are providing producers and end-users with exciting new malting barley varieties. North Dakota State University (NDSU) efforts to develop two-rowed malting barley varieties began over 40 years ago.  In 1970 when Dr. Glenn Peterson (NDSU barley breeder 1957-1974) made the first crosses between Western two-rowed varieties and Midwest six-rowed barley varieties, there was very little interest from the malting and brewing industry.  Even though the industry was satisfied with Midwest six-rowed varieties in 1975, Dr. Jack Carter and Mr. Thomas Conlon of NDSU saw value and some advantages to two-rowed barley, especially for growers in the western regions of North Dakota.

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Regional Malting Barley

 

May 21, 2014 – Every North American brewer has their favorite variety or in most cases, group of varieties, that are suited to making their product line and perform well in their breweries.  Historically, the choices were made based on the barley that was best adapted to the region in which a brewery was located.  Six-rowed varieties originating from northeast China dominated in the eastern and midwestern US, two-rowed varieties from Europe in the intermountain west, and six-rowed varieties out of North Africa in California.  Each type had its own quality strengths, but their field performance was a primary force in determining what brewers were using in different regions of the continent.

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USDA-ARS Malting Barley Breeding in Idaho

Malting barley production in the western United States was dominated by two-rowed varieties introduced from Europe until the release of the variety Klages in 1973.  There are numerous reasons for this, but two stand out.  Breeding programs focused on feed varieties during prohibition so it was some time before they were able to incorporate the desired malting and brewing quality into varieties adapted to the region.  Secondly, 90% of the malt US brewers were using in the 1950s was made from six-row varieties, so European two-row varieties like Betzes from Poland, Moravian from Czechoslovakia, and Piroline from Germany were able to supply the industry with all the two-row it needed.

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AMBA Provides Comments on Proposed FDA Regulations

AMBA Provides Comments on Proposed FDA Regulations

American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) filed comments on proposed FDA regulations that would impact how brewers handle their spent grains and on ho w elevators store barley.  The FDA published the proposed rules in response to the Food Safety and Modernization Act that was signed into law on January 4, 2011.  One set of proposed rules dealt with food for humans and the second for animal food.
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US Barley – Feed Grain to Specialty Crop

Barley has gone from being a major feed grain to a specialty food crop in the last twenty-five years.  While there are still a few areas, primarily corn deficient regions, in the US that utilize barley for livestock, barley’s major use is for malting.  This malt makes its way into many of the cereals, crackers and baked goods that we eat and of course, the beer and other malt beverages that we drink.  This shift to a higher value food crop has occurred as acreage has declined and barley’s value has increased.

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Accelerating Barley Variety Development

April 18, 2013 – New genetic technologies are being applied to the development of barley varieties that greatly increase breeding efficiencies.  Many of these technologies grew out of the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funding for the Barley Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) and are being used to enhance agronomic and quality traits of barley…

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