Increasing Barley Selection for Malting Through Research

The mission of the American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) is to encourage and support an adequate supply of high quality malting barley for end users.  The primary strategy in achieving this is the development of new varieties with an increased chance of making industry malting quality specifications, often referred to as selection rate.  Barley breeders have been meeting this challenge …?

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Barley Researchers from Around the World Meet in Minneapolis

A very successful 12th International Barley Genetics Symposium (IBGS) was held in Minneapolis, MN June 26-30, 2016.  It was a worldwide gathering with over 300 barley researchers representing 30 countries and all the continents except Antarctica.  The last time the IBGS was held in the US was 1969, when Washington State University in Pullman, WA hosted the second symposium…

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Barley Breeding Getting a Boost From USDA Laboratories

Milwaukee, WI – May 10, 2016 – New DNA marker technologies have the ability to rapidly and efficiently monitor the transfer of traits into new barley selections.  The per analysis costs of these technologies are generally far less than traditional field or greenhouse testing, but the capital investment required to set up a facility, or to keep up with the changing technology, is high.  Congress provided a solution to this by providing funding for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to set up four regional laboratories (Fargo, ND; Manhattan, KS; Pullman, WA; Raleigh, NC) with the equipment and staff to genotype small grains for public breeders across the country.  The regional aspect of the labs allows them to effectively address priority traits and yield limitations for specific production areas.

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AMBA Opposes Post-Heading Treatments on Grains

MILWAUKEE – April 20, 2016 – The American Malting Barley Association, Inc. (AMBA) strongly opposes the use of desiccants or herbicides such as glyphosate for post-heading treatment of malting barley, wheat, or other grains in North America being processed for malting, brewing, and distilling.  The AMBA Board of Directors cites concerns expressed by the organization’s Technical Committee for potential chemical residues and effects on germination from such treatments that can impact processing or the quality of the final product.  Glyphosate is not labeled for post-heading application on malting barley in the United States as a pre-harvest aid to kill weeds, as a desiccant to dry down the crop, or for any other reason.

Dr. Michael P. Davis, AMBA President, notes that “our members will not knowingly buy malting barley, wheat or other grains, regardless of the grain’s origin, that are treated after heading with these chemicals and residue testing is being performed.”

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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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The University of Minnesota Diversifies It’s Barley Program

St. Paul – November 17, 2015 – The University of Minnesota (UM) has played an integral part in the development of malting barley for over a century.  In the early part of the 20th century, this land grant institution cooperated with USDA Division of Cereal and Disease scientists located in St. Paul and participated in the evaluation of germplasm for its adaptation to upper Midwest growing conditions.  Much of this work was done by Dr. Harry Harlan who received his PhD from UM while working for the USDA.  The released varieties were mostly six-rows of the Manchurian type, that did well in Minnesota, but also included Trebi which became a dominant six-row malting barley in the western US and Alpha, a two-row variety that was popular in New York and New England.

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New Barley Crop Insurance by the North Dakota Barley Council

Milwaukee – July 20, 2015 – The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) congratulates the North Dakota Barley Council (NDBC) on the Malting Barley Revenue Endorsement that will be available to barley growers in 2016.  It has taken a number of years from the initial conception to final approval of the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), but well worth the wait.  What started out as an alternative pilot program for North Dakota growers, has expanded to a comprehensive insurance product for all producers in the US that can currently insure barley for malting quality.

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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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