Barley Producers Catch a Break At Harvest


During a very uncertain year, Briess Malt & Ingredients recently shared some exciting news with their producers, announcing they will be accepting up to 100 percent of each contract.

That decision was determined after conversations with Briess’ Grower Advisory Committee witnessed an upward trend in demand throughout June and July and follows an April letter only guaranteeing producers a 50 percent commitment of contract promises. As you may remember, the company that utilizes much of Southern Montana and Northern Wyoming’s high-quality malt barley saw a drastic reduction in requests from brewery’s and distillery’s after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered many businesses.

However, with production picking back up in those sectors, Briess Malt & Ingredients President and COO Ryan O’Toole said “that’s good news for the growers and the company.” It was especially good news for the producers who chose the option to leave their contract as is and grew 100 percent of the acres agreed upon in the off season.

Some producers elected other options in the April letter, which allowed them to eliminate, amend or go forward with the original acres, even though Briess was only able guarantee 50 percent acceptance at the time. O’Toole said it was a mixed bag of results when the new contracts came back but that was what it was intended to be and he “didn’t want to tie the hands of the growers,” adding “that was the best they could do for them and those that stuck with barley, we were able to take it all.”

Briess Malt & Ingredients receives its barley at their handling facility just west of Ralston, WY which typically see’s over 5,000 trucks deliver the grain from the field. After initially receiving the barley, Briess will load over 200 rail cars annually from their 3.8 million-bushel bins, and ship the high-quality grain to Wisconsin for brewing, distilling and other food processes of U.S. grown products.

O’Toole said he’s proud of that and extended his appreciation to the growers who were able to stick with their barley acres this year. “I don’t know how to say thank you enough,” O’Toole added.

Briess looks forward to getting through harvest and engaging with the growers next year.



Northern Ag Network – 2020


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