The majority of the barley produced in North Dakota goes toward malting and brewing, but 20 to 30 percent of the state’s barley is going to another market: pet food. “It’s been a surprise to see the growth in the sector for the past three to four years.” North Dakota Barley Council Executive Administrator Steve Edwardson says manufacturers are starting to revitalize the use of barley in their pet food recipes. MGI Grain Processing Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development Kevin Pray says barley offers a nutritional value, a health-halo ingredient, for cat and dog food. Local barley growers are willing to explore the market. “For us to see the interest we’ve seen so far, we’re relatively small in the overall space, but we’ve had strong interest. This option allows farmers to diversify their crop base and can offset their cost of production issues. Feed and pearling can be more flexible and we can work with different varieties.”
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