Idaho ranks 1st nationally in production of barley. Production of Idaho barley has grown significantly in recent years in order to supply large brewing companies that produce beer.
Budweiser and Corona have established malting plants in eastern Idaho to make dry malt from Idaho barley. The dry product is then shipped to breweries where the final product is made. Coors also has a significant presence in Idaho as do several smaller breweries.
Readily available irrigation water delivery systems allow Idaho farmers to produce high yielding bright barley in several different varieties. The brewing companies are particular in their grading and they demand high quality barley that produces a consistent product and keeps their plants operating at top efficiency.
In 2011 Idaho farmers planted 520,000 acres of barley, nearly three-quarters in malting varieties. The average statewide yield was 93 bushels per acre. The leading variety was Conrad (B5057) with 21.7 percent of all acres planted.