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MBAA TQ doi:10.1094/TQ-48-4-1227-01  |  VIEW ARTICLE
2011 U.S. Barley Production and Quality Updates

Karen Hertsgaard, John Barr, Paul Schwarz and Alberto Jiménez-Díaz.

According to the November 9 United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) Crop Production Report, U.S. 2011 barley production is 155,780 thousand bushels* from 2,239 thousand harvested acres. This is an increase from the September USDA Small Grains 2011 Summary, which reported production at 155.0 million bushels. The revised report was prepared because the wet growing season delayed small grain harvest nationwide. Although the reported number of harvested acres remained steady in the second report, yields in Idaho and Washington increased, and the average U.S yield increased from 69.2 to 69.6 bu/acre. However, 2011 production was the lowest of the last 10 years.

Quality surveys conducted by the Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences (IBMS) in Montana, Minnesota, and North Dakota were completed in November. Sample collection was coordinated by the USDA-NASS, Fargo, ND. Grain quality evaluations were performed by the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University (NSDU) and grade determinations were completed by the North Dakota Grain Inspection Service in Fargo, ND.

An evaluation of Idaho barley quality coordinated by the Idaho Barley Commission was completed in October. Idaho barley samples were graded at the Idaho Grain Inspection Service in Pocatello, ID.

Seventy-six percent of 2011 U.S. barley was produced in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, Washington, and Wyoming. Except for Washington, which produces mostly feed varieties, the majority of production in these states is malting varieties.

* 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 bushels
1 metric ton/hectare (barley) = 18.587 bu/acre