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Keeping Barley Relevant - Doyle Lentz, Chairman

Barley production in the United States has undergone an unprecedented transformation from a commodity crop to a specialty crop. Feed barley utilization in livestock is at minimal levels, and malting barley has essentially become a specialty crop produced under contract for the malting and brewing industry.  Barley is no longer produced as a commodity, but rather it is procured as an ingredient.  As indicated in the following graph, barley acreage peaked at approximately 17 million acres in the mid-1940’s (shortly after World War II), but has declined to approximately 3 million acres today.

The North Dakota Barley Council continues to implement projects that assist in keeping barley relevant at the production, processing, and marketing levels. We work closely with buyers to positively influence contract program development. We  develop education to assist the malting and brewing industry in understanding the complexity of  barley production and crop enterprise selection.

Barley is the only crop that must be delivered in a “living state” (i. e. it must germinate to make malt).  Barley production in the U. S. has likely plateaued, and  keeping barley relevant will continue to require communication, outreach, technical research, and  market intelligence.  The Barley Council continues to develop and refine its efforts in each of these areas.


North Dakota Barley Council
1002 Main Ave. W. #2 | West Fargo, ND 58078
701-239-7200 (p) | 701-239-7280 (f)

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