EAST LANSING, Mich. — 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. Furthermore, NASS announced in 2017 that they would no longer be collecting agricultural survey data on barley in Michigan as they attempted to streamline and prioritize their data collection efforts. In response, 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 MSU Extension researchers at UPREC are striving to address needs including variety suitability, disease and pest management and fertility recommendations. Taking stock of the production in-state will better inform both short and long-term research strategies.
“Responding to surveys, like the one MSU UPREC is putting together, is the only way to make your voice heard as a barley producer,” said Ryan Hamilton, Executive Director of the Michigan Malting Barley Association. “By reporting crop successes as well as setbacks, the data collected is critically important to the health and security of the nascent barley industry in Michigan. Sharing your experiences and opinions can help further research, fix what’s broken and improve what’s already working well for the barley value chain in Michigan. If you’ve grown barley in the past, have some in the field right now or are planning to grow barley in the future (even in the next three to five years), please join the conversation and help make barley a better choice for Michigan farmers.”
Follow the link below to respond to the survey:
If you are interested in learning more about malting barley research at MSU, feel free to reach out to Ashley McFarland at 906-439-5176 or firstname.lastname@example.org. McFarland is the Coordinator of the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, Michigan and a Community Food System Educator with MSU Extension.
— Ashley McFarland, Michigan State University Extension
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