The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) is funding a new research project of Montana State University (MSU) and the Rocky Mountain Malting Barley Cooperative (RMMBC) with $300,000. The RMMBC is led by Jamie Sherman, Project Director and Associate Professor at MSU. The project is aimed to establish the best practices required to sustainably produce high quality malt to meet the needs of the all malt industry that is shifting towards dryland production in the Western U.S.
Currently, most barley breeding is focused on selecting for quality potential instead of quality stability because most programs only test malt quality on barley grown in high production environments, and few efforts exist to improve dryland production. Thus, breeding for quality stability requires testing in multiple environments. This research will facilitate regional production of malt for brewing in the Rocky Mountain region.