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NDSU Barley Researchers Collaborate with Eastern Barley and Malt Producers

Three members of the NDSU barley research team are working on collaborative research projects with growers, researchers and maltsters in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New York.

July 8, 2015

Three researchers from the NDSU barley program participated in Barley Nursery Field Days and toured craft malt houses June 24 to 27 in New England. Dr. Richard Horsley, barley breeder, Dr. Paul Schwarz, barley and malt quality specialist, and Martin Hochhalter, barley research specialist, were accompanied by Andrea and Christian Stanley of Valley Malt in Hadley, MA. Andrea is the president of the North American Craft Maltsters Guild and is a graduate of the Northern Crops Institute/NDSU barley and malt short course, which Schwarz teaches.

The field days and tours were held on June 24 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in South Deerfield, on June 25 at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Orno, and at the University of Vermont in Alburgh on June 27.

Tours of malt houses included Valley Malt in Hadley, MA; Blue Ox Malthouse in Lisbon Falls, ME; and Maine Malt House at Buck Farms in Mapleton, ME.

“Craft brewing and craft malting are growing rapidly," says Schwarz, "and there is a great demand for local barley. The NDSU Barley Improvement Program and Craft Malt Guild helped organize a Uniform Regional Malting Barley Nursery in a number of states in the northeast, including Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and New York. The objective is to work with regional researchers, extension personnel and growers to determine which barleys perform best in these locations. NDSU varieties Conlon and Pinnacle are already being grown, and it appears that ND Genesis is well suited to some areas.”

According to Horsley, “NDSU is a widely recognized center of barley expertise. Many growers we met in the northeast know growers in North Dakota from whom they are eager to learn about successful barley production.” He hopes the collaborative research planned in Eastern locations will benefit maltsters and brewers nationwide.

For more information on Valley Malt and the North American Craft Maltsters Guild, see http://valleymalt.com/ or http://www.craftmalting.com/

Source: Paul Schwarz (701-231-7732, paul.schwarz@ndsu.edu)
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard (701-231-5384, karen.hertsgaard@ndsu.edu)

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