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Applied Research

Eric Richer
Assistant Professor
Ohio State University Extension


Two large regional malting facilities within a 100 mile radius of Northwest Ohio are anticipated to come online in the next 2 years to supply not only the 336 craft breweries (2018) but also the existing macro breweries in Ohio. These malting facilities will be looking to contract with farmers in the region to grow high quality malting barley. Additionally, farmers in the region are looking for crops to diversify their rotation, improve water quality and add profitability.

Since 2017, a malt barley peer learning group (research cohort) was established in Northwest Ohio. In anticipation of a growing demand for specialty malt to supply the craft brewing industry, a group of farmers worked with local Extension educators and other agricultural professionals to evaluate the possibility of growing high quality, high yielding winter malting barley in Northwest Ohio. 

Farmers met regularly and shared concerns, questions and practices with each other.  Whole fields served as both replicated and randomized data points to create simple averages. In 2018, a group of eight barley farmers produced baseline production data (simple averages) of 86.5 bu/ac dry grain yield, 13.5% harvest moisture, and a June 26th harvest date.  Average quality data resulted in 11.6% protein, 87.7% plumpness, 98.5% germination and .5 ppm DON. In 2019, nine farmers with 12 field sites averaged 50.6 bu/ac dry grain yield, 13.7% harvest moisture, and a July 6th harvest date.  Quality data from 2019 averaged 10.4% protein, 92.0% plumpness, 97.4% germination and 4.6 ppm DON. In 2020, 13 growers with 26 field sites averaged 71.7 bu/ac dry grain yield, 13.5% harvest moisture, and a June 24th harvest date.  Quality data from 2020 averaged 10.3% protein, 78.0% plumpness, 98.4% germination and .2 ppm DON. Implications from the research indicate that farmers in the region can grow high quality and good quantity of malting barley if markets exists and the local weather cooperates.

Field tours, farmer panels, and regional research meetings were conducted to throughout 2018-2020 to transfer the knowledge from the research cohort to other farmers.

Cohort research data is shared on website and printed booklet.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: E. A. Richer
  1. Richer, E. Assistant Professor, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 43567