This year, two representatives from each company participated in field visits across Idaho and Montana, the USGC said on Aug. 30. They met with the Idaho Barley Commission, who reported on the status of this year's Idaho barley crop, production trends and the key drivers in the market place today. They also visited three malting facilities in Idaho, where they were able to see the attention to detail that is taken in order to produce the malt to the specifications requested by the brewers. Their final stop in Idaho was to U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ARS National Small Grains Research Facility, where they heard the latest barley breeds being developed through the federal barley feeding program.
Visiting Montana gave the team confidence in the U.S. barley industry, as they had the opportunity to speak extensively with Dave Tweet of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee who has a wealth of experience in growing barley. He provided the group information about the various types of barley grown in Montana and also helped the team understand the grower mentality and desire to stay in the barley industry. The Mexican team also saw an elevator, and saw firsthand the storing capabilities for barley before malting or shipment.
Overall, the trip was successful in providing the participants with an understanding of the barley industry and its growth. It is part of Council's continual effort to help foster and maintain relationships between major brewing companies in Mexico and U.S. barley producers.