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MBAA TQ doi:10.1094/TQ-48-3-0922-01  |  VIEW ARTICLE
2011 U.S. Barley Production and Quality*

Paul Schwarz and Karen Hertsgaard.

Barley acreage** in the U.S. has been declining since the 1980s and currently available information indicates that 2011, with production of 168.2 million bushels, may be the lowest since 1936. At 2.73 million acres, U.S. acreage is 5 percent lower than in 2010. Seven states (Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming) produce 75 percent of the barley in the U.S. Weather and growing conditions were extreme in many of these states in 2011 and may have impacted yield and quality of the crop.

Annual crop quality surveys conducted in Montana, Minnesota, and North Dakota by the Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences at NDSU are in progress. To date, harvest is 100 percent, 87 percent, and 98 percent complete in Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota, respectively.

* U.S. barley harvest is not yet complete, and since production-based statistics are not available until several months after harvest, we relied on estimates for the 2011 crop. Since planting and production estimates generally do not make a distinction between malting and feed, this report covers total barley production. Also, since estimates are periodically updated, and although we have endeavored to use the most recent data, some inconsistencies may result. Planting and production estimates were from the United States Department of Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS).

** Metric units of hectares and tonnes were converted with the following formulas:
1 hectare (ha) = 2.471 acres
1 metric ton = 2,204.620 lbs.
1 metric ton (barley) = 49.929 BU
1 metric ton/hectare (barley) = 18.587 BU/acre