Maintaining consistency in the production, processing, and marketing of barley requires continuous development and implementation of projects in a number of areas. The Barley Council provides leadership and support across a range of topics, including but not limited to the following:
- Crop Insurance: the Barley Council, in cooperation with the malting and brewing industry, USDA Risk Management Agency, and Watts and Associates (a private crop insurance development firm in Billings, Montana) developed a new crop insurance product to address the unique risks of malting barley production. The new product (Malt Barley Endorsement) was the result of this cooperative effort. MBE was deployed nationwide for the 2016 crop year, and will continue to undergo refinements in the future.
- Market Development: Through its affiliation with the U. S. Grains Council (USGC) in Washington, D. C., the North Dakota Barley Council develops international markets for barley utilization in malting, livestock feed, and human food applications. This requires developing education programs to assist domestic and foreign buyers in procuring North Dakota barley, thus providing market outlets for barley growers. The Barley Council has developed in-depth educational programs on barley management, contracting, and procurement risk.
- Farm Policy: Keeping barley agronomically viable and economically profitable for growers requires continuous monitoring of farm policy to ascertain that barley is treated fairly. The North Dakota Barley Council works closely with the National Barley Growers Association to guide farm policy on issues related to barley.
- Barley Variety Development: The Barley Council supports research at North Dakota State University to develop new barley varieties for growers. Variety development, coupled with research in disease management, provides growers with barley that is agronomically sound.