Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
AgriGenomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Interest Brews in Reviving Malted Barley Crop

Published: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The farm brewery law adopted last year by the New York State Legislature is creating new demand for an old crop: malted barley.

In return for sourcing at least 25 percent of their hops and 40 percent of all other ingredients from New York farms, brewers can receive a lower cost, simplified license. In 10 years, that ratio will increase incrementally to 90 percent.

Farmers eager to seize the opportunity have turned to Cornell plant breeder Mark Sorrells for advice about how to start – a recent rainy field day at Musgrave Research Farm in Aurora attracted nearly 50 farmers, and an eclectic mix of farmers, millers, brewers, distillers and malt house owners attended another Hudson Valley event last week.

But Sorrells, professor of plant breeding, doesn’t have much information to share yet. Hampered by budget cuts, he can’t afford to start breeding his own regionally adapted varieties, so he’s testing existing varieties, most bred for Europe or the Midwest. Of the 40 varieties he’s tested so far over the past year, three winter malting barleys have stood out as having potential for the Northeast.

“Usually I don’t make recommendations until we have at least three years of data, as every year is different, especially in New York. But there are so many people out there desperate for information that we are going to make some preliminary recommendations after this year,” Sorrells said. “The New York State Legislature saw the opportunity to develop an industry, but they didn’t foresee the lack of information on malting varieties in New York.”

The 119 breweries in New York used an estimated 32 million pounds of malt in 2012, and the state’s existing five malt houses are processing about a ton of malted barley a week – which barely meets the needs of a single small brewery.

“We have nowhere near the malting volume we need to service all the local brewers; we could probably use 10 times that much,” Sorrells said.

So what is he telling farmers?

Don’t start growing malting barley until you have a relationship with a buyer, and know that growing malting barley is different than growing feed barley for livestock.

“It’s like a completely different grain; the varieties are different, management is different, harvesting is different, marketing is different,” Sorrells said. “People interested in getting involved with malting barley have a lot of things to learn.” For example, such farmers need to apply less nitrogen fertilizer than usual, harvest on time and dry at a proper temperature.

In addition to Sorrells’ field trials, other researchers at Cornell – including plant pathologist Gary Bergstrom and extension specialists Bill Verbeten, Mike Stanyard and Kevin Ganoe – are investigating fertilizer management, soil conditions, weed, insect and disease control.

The so-called “vomitoxin,” which occurs when plants are infested with fusarium head blight, is one of the diseases believed to have driven barley out of production in New York decades ago, when grains and hops once dominated the landscape.

Despite the challenges, premium prices might make the venture worthwhile for some farmers, Sorrells said. Other things could also mitigate the risks. It’s possible to squeeze two crops into each year, planting summer crops after the winter varieties are harvested. And those growing organic grains have a potential backup should their barley fail malting standards: the emerging market for organic livestock feed.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
Grape Waste Could Make Competitive Biofuel
The solid waste left over from wine-making could make a competitive biofuel, University of Adelaide researchers have found.
Accelerating Forage Breeding to Boost Livestock Productivity
International expert skill-sets in genomics and bioinformatics enhance our capacity to breed improved forages for Africa.
Firefly Protein Enables Visualization of Roots in Soil
A new imaging tool from a team led by Carnegie’s José Dinneny allows researchers to study the dynamic growth of root systems in soil, and to uncover the molecular signaling pathways that control such growth.
So Long, Snout
Research helps answer how birds got their beaks.
The Tree of Life — More Like A Bush
New species evolve whenever a lineage splits off into several. Because of this, the kinship between species is often described in terms of a ‘tree of life’, where every branch constitutes a species.
Algae Nutrient Recycling is a Triple Win
Sandia method cheaper, greener and cuts competition for fertilizer.
Non-Transgenic Rapeseed Product Launched For Chinese Market
Cibus and Rotam have announced a new agreement to cooperate in the development of herbicide-tolerant rapeseed in China.
TGAC Leads Development to Diminish Threat to Vietnam’s Most Important Crop
Advanced bioinformatics capabilities for next-generation rice genomics in Vietnam to aid precision breeding.
BESC Creates Microbe That Bolsters Isobutanol Production
Another barrier to commercially viable biofuels from sources other than corn has fallen with the engineering of a microbe that improves isobutanol yields by a factor of 10.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!