ND State Barley Show in its 70th year

The North Dakota State Barley Show would not be stopped, even with the wicked North Dakota weather the county and state has experienced this winter.

barley show crowd

Posted on 3/29/14

On Friday, March 21 farmers, researchers, producers and extension agents gathered to discuss a variety of barley centered topics that ranged from North Dakota State University Developing Barleys for North Dakota Farmers; Saline Soils: Finding Solutions – Is Barley the Answer; A Review of the 2014 Farm Bill, and Challenging Times for North Dakota Barley Farmers, at the 70th Annual show.

Due to the weather, speakers who were scheduled to be at the show, had to use technology to present their topics. Telecommunications were used to show speakers using Teamviewer to bring their information to the many barley growers in the area. Teamviewer had the audience watching the power point presentations with a small video feed of the presenter in the corner of the screen.

Presenters talked about new barley varieties and current trends in barley and the varieties that are locally grown. One speaker commented that new varieties are coming out, but like in the past the ultimate test for any barley is how the beer turns out.

As for the future, one presenter spoke saying companies need to look at barley and press for, “a variety that grows well.”

Dwight Aakre, NDSU Extension Service, spoke on the farm bill and talked about it in relation to the barley base acres. He will be back in Langdon April 1 to talk more in depthly about the 2014 Farm Bill.

Local presenter Naeem Kalwar, of the NDSU Research Center spoke on the salinity of local soil, posing the question “Is the barley the answer?” The conclusion is that barley is the most salt tolerant grain crop.

Steve Edwardson, Administrator ND Barley Council, spoke on one of the biggest challenges to barley is the reduction of crops being grown due to a variety of reasons including corn replacing barley as a cattle feed resulting in a loss of feed barley markets. Another reason is that barley takes more effort and time to grow compared to corn and soybeans.

Also taking place, barley growers showcased their barley for a chance to win awards and cash for malt and feed divisions.

The event ended with the Exhibitors Stag featuring a roast beef and ham dinner.

Even with the problematic weather and limited number of speakers being able to be physically present, local barley growers were able to spend a day gleaning important information about an instrumental crop.