Idaho remains top barley state in U.S.

Idaho will retain its spot as the nation’s top barley-producing state this year, as Gem State farmers produced nearly a third of the United States’ total barley supply.

According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Idaho farmers harvested 520,000 acres of barley in 2019. While the total acreage is down 2 percent from last year, yields averaged 105 bushels per acre, up 4 percent. Idaho farmers produced a total of 54.6 million bushels of barley this year, up 2 percent compared with 2018. That production represents about 32 percent of the total U.S. crop.  Based on that estimate, Idaho barley cash receipts will climb 3 percent to some $274 million.

Barley ranks 7th in Idaho in terms of total farm cash receipts, with most of the state’s crop grown for the beer industry. Analysts say the quality of Idaho’s 2019 barley crop was average to above average in most areas.

According to the USDA, Montana will rank Number 2 in barley production this year with an estimated 44.4 million bushels, and North Dakota is third with 32.4 million bushels.  (Post Register/Idaho Farm Bureau Federation)