March 24 Malting Barley Conference Focuses on Future of Barley as Ohio Cash Crop

Malting barley. Photo: Thinkstock

XENIA, Ohio – Ohio malting barley growers are experiencing increased demand for the specialty crop used as a key ingredient in craft beers, experts say.

With a growing craft beer industry in Ohio, malting barley growers can expect that the demand for the crop likely will continue to grow, said Brian Kleinke, an Ohio State University Extension Educator.

“As of 2016, there were more than 170 licensed breweries statewide, meaning that the income potential for malting barley growers is significant,” Kleinke said.

To help new growers learn how to get started growing malting barley in Ohio, as well as provide more insight for established growers, a Malting Barley Conference and Trade Show will be held March 24 at the Greene County fairgrounds, 100 Fairground Road in Xenia, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The workshop will feature detailed information on the latest in malting barley production, including variety selection, disease and weed management, and how to use cooperative markets in Ohio, Kleinke said.

The conference is for both beginning and advanced malting barley growers and anyone else interested in growing the crop to meet the increasing demand for a rapidly expanding industry, he said.

“Brewers, maltsters, industry enthusiasts and consumers are also encouraged to attend the conference,” Kleinke said.

The conference will include a trade show as well as a tour of the malting barley production at Little Miami Farm, 3391 Cemetery Road in Xenia, Kleinke said. The 75-acre small commercial farm grows hops and barley in addition to corn, soybeans and hay.

Participants will also be able to network with others in the microbrewing industry at Yellow Springs Brewery, a 15-barrel brewhouse at 305 Walnut St., Suite B in Yellow Springs. The networking event is at 4:30 p.m. at no extra cost.

The conference will feature presentations by horticulture experts with OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center as well as other agricultural industry professionals. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Workshop topics will include:

  • Reintroducing malting barley in non-traditional growing regions
  • Malting barley variety selection
  • Cooperative markets in Ohio
  • Disease control in malting barley
  • Weed control in malting barley
  • Farmer’s perspective panel discussion
  • Industry representatives panel discussion

Registration for the conference is $20. Registration includes conference handouts, snacks, lunch and beverages.

For more information on the conference, contact Kleinke at or 937-372-9971, ext. 114.  To register and to find the conference’s full agenda, go to

Tracy Turner
For more information, contact: 

Brian Kleinke
937-372-9971, ext. 114