Taking stock of the Michigan malting barley industry

Farmers are urged to complete a brief survey to share their experiences with malting barley production.

Pinnacle malting barley harvested near Buckley, MI in 2015. Photo credit: Michigan Brewers Guild

Pinnacle malting barley harvested near Buckley, MI in 2015. Photo credit: Michigan Brewers Guild

Traditional agriculture statistics are of little help when trying to determine the state of malting barley production in Michigan. The reason for this inaccurate view is that all barley – both that produced for feed and malting – is categorized as one crop. Data from 2014 showed 7,000 acres of barley harvested, but estimates of how much of that barley was grown for the production of malt is much less – likely only a few hundred.

In order to gain a better understanding of the state of malting barley production in Michigan, the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center (UPREC) is coordinating a survey of in-state farmers and malt houses. This work, also supported by the Michigan Brewers Guild, will provide a snapshot of the level of production and serve as a baseline for the growing industry.

As interest grows for malting barley, MSU AgBioResearch and Michigan State University Extension researchers at UPREC are striving to address needs including variety suitability, disease and pest management, and fertility recommendations. Taking stock in the production in-state will better inform both short and long-term research strategies.

We appreciate your feedback. Follow the link to respond to the survey, 2015 Michigan Malting Barley Production Survey.

If you are interested in learning more about malting barley research at MSU, feel free to reach out to me at 906-439-5176 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), coordinator of the Michigan State University Upper  Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, Michigan and a Community Food System educator with MSU Extension

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