A higher protein, lower yielding barley crop is forecast for North Dakota this year. “USDA NASS estimates North Dakota’s barley production at 18.2 million bushels, down 37 percent from last year,” says Steve Edwardson, executive administrator, North Dakota Barley Council. “A good barley yield is 70 bushels per acre, but NASS has yield at 38 bushels per acre. That’s 25 bushels per acre lower than one year ago. We’ll have a shorter supply.” Heat will boost the protein levels as well. High protein barley is not a bad thing when it comes to pet food, but it’s less desirable for brewing. Edwardson says the malting and brewing industry isn’t in a panic yet. “We’ll expect tighter supplies, impacting contracting programs for 2022.” With extreme heat pushing barley along, harvest could begin within the next week. Hear the story.