MSU seeks input on barley production in Michigan

Respond now to the Michigan State University annual barley grower survey.

winter barley research plots
2018 winter barley research plots at the MSU W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Photo by Brook Wilke.

In response to the growing demand for locally sourced ingredients for the craft beverage market, farmers continue to explore barley as an alternative crop in Michigan. As interest grows for malting barley, Michigan State University AgBioResearch and MSU Extension researchers and educators are striving to address industry needs including variety suitability, disease and pest management, and fertility recommendations. Taking stock of the production in-state will better inform short- and long-term research and Extension strategies.

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 (winter versus spring; feed versus malting) is categorized as one crop. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced in 2017 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 MSU Barley Research Team is coordinating a survey of Michigan farmers. This work, also supported by the American Malting Barley Association and the Michigan Brewers Guild, will provide a snapshot of the level of production and serve as a baseline for the growing industry.

If you are a farmer growing barley, we would appreciate your feedback. Respond to the survey here: 2018 Michigan Malting Barley Production Survey.

The survey data will be summarized and a report made available through the MSU Extension Malting Barley website. Individual farmer information or responses will not be reported.

If you are interested in learning more about malting barley research at MSU, feel free to reach out to any of the following MSU Malting Barley team members, including Brook Wilke (269-671-2509;, Dean Baas (, Ryan Hamilton ( or James DeDecker (

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