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Idaho Barley Producers Find New Market

Several regional growers are now supplying barley raised for human consumption

A major grain supplier is developing a new market for East Idaho barley farmers, who have endured recent cuts to their contacted malt barley acreage, reports the Idaho State Journal.

In addition to raising malt barley for large brewing companies or feed barley for livestock, about 20 regional growers are now supplying Thresher Artisan Wheat with barley raised for human consumption.

Ken Morgan, Thresher’s director of merchandising for Idaho, said his growers are raising 3,000 to 3,500 acres of food barley this year, most of which will be sold to Asian markets that use it as a nutritional supplement to blend with rice.

The Idaho Barley Commission has worked for several years to establish a significant food barley industry in the state and was instrumental in working with the National Barley Foods Council to secure a nationwide heart-health claim for the commodity, through the federal Food and Drug Administration, in 2006.

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