Barley Resources

5 Key States for Barley Production

~ 75% of the barley grown in the US is produced in these states. So what happens in these states can impact the market for barley and therefore malt.

  • Idaho
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Washington

The Brewers Association has gathered a number of important malting barley resources for craft brewers.

USDA Barley Market Summary – A basic, concise synopsis of barley as a crop, and some basics on how agronomic factors affect the barley market.

Spring Barley Production Guide – A great overview of all aspects of growing spring barley from the University of Idaho.

American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) – AMBA’s mission is to provide an adequate supply of high quality malting barley for the malting and brewing industries. Members include brewers and malting companies. AMBA provides technical direction (for example, encouraging research on rust resistant varieties), and best practices guidance to supply chain members. The links page at the AMBA website is a comprehensive gateway into barley information online.

NDSU Institute of Barley Malting and Science (IBMS) – IBMS provides research and technical information for US barley growers and domestic and international malting and brewing industries.

National Barley Growers Association (NBGA) – NBGA mission is to enhance and maintain the profitability of the US barley growing industry. NBGA posts wide ranging policy position statements, including this one from June 2011.

Canadian Malting Barley Technical Center (CMBTC) – CMBTC provides technical resources for the entire supply chain—barley growers, maltsters, brewers. They also have an e-newsletter with global barley news synopses, sign up by contacting Rob McCaig directly.

USDA Reports

USDA Weekly Crop Progress ReportUpdated weekly during spring and summer.

USDA Annual Grain Planting Intentions ReportAn annual report is issued in late March. State by state breakdown of planting intentions for acreage for many crops. Barley acreage intentions usually shown on page 9 of this report.

USDA Annual Grain Planted Acreage ReportAn annual reports are issued in late June. Reports contain a state by state breakdown of actual acreage planted for many crops. Actual barley acreage is usually shown on page 9 of the report.

USDA Crop Production Report - Use the USDA database to different reports. Reports issued monthly. Highlights from certain months include:

  • January – Previous year barley acreage
  • July – First yield estimate for current year crop
  • August – updated yield estimate for current year crop
  • October – updated yield estimate for current year crop that includes mostly of the actual harvest, so is subject to little revision after this
  • November – final yield, acreage and production figures

USDA Grain Stock reports are issued four times per year in January, March, June and September. Reports show inventories held on farms, and off farms (which includes mills, elevators, warehouses, terminals, and processors).

The reports are organized on a state by state and total US basis. Barley stocks are summarized usually on the top of page 2, and broken down in detail on page 9 of each report. Reports also compare previous quarter depletions to the year prior period, allowing you to compare actual total stocks, and also the rate of depletion of those stocks. Depletions (called “disappearance” in the reports) are calculated by comparing the end of quarter total US stock figure with the same figure from the prior quarter.