CONRAD, Mont.—Today Anheuser-Busch announced that it will expand its pilot crop water conservation project to Montana barley growers.
The program has already helped growers reduce water use in Southeast Idaho via a network of six new agriculturally-based AgriMet weather stations managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. After one season, initial findings of three case studies across the region demonstrated that farmers using AgriMet to guide their watering schedule reduced water use from nine to 23 percent.
“These findings only further demonstrate our commitment to brewing the highest quality beers and improving our environmental performance,” says Lee Keathley, Vice President of Procurement at Anheuser-Busch.
This year, Anheuser-Busch is funding an additional three AgriMet stations in the towns of Conrad, Ulm, and Valier, so that growers can instantly access real-time weather and water data via an irrigation scheduler website and smart phone app. Access to the federal government’s AgriMet weather and water data is free of charge. Crop water use data can be downloaded through the Irrigation Scheduler Mobile Application developed by Washington State University.
In May, the Bureau of Reclamation will install three new AgriMet weather stations funded by Anheuser-Busch located in Pondera and Cascade Counties.
Clark Hamilton, a contract barley grower in Ririe, Idaho, who hosts an AgriMet station on his land, can speak to the importance of the installation of such systems: “We began using AgriMet to inform our irrigation schedule last season and help us better manage water use while maintaining yield. Water is a valuable commodity to us and we need to manage it the best we can,” he said.
Weather station data is available for use by all interested growers, including barley growers under contract with Anheuser-Busch. The project supports Anheuser-Busch InBev’s long-term objective of reducing impacts across its global value chain and increasing sustainability. Anheuser-Busch InBev is committed to reducing water risks and improving water management in 100 percent of its key barley growing regions by the end of 2017.
A-B intends to do this with the assistance of local stakeholders such as the Bureau of Reclamation. “It’s exciting to have a large corporation take interest in water conservation and invest in a tool like AgriMet that will benefit not only their growers, but all growers in the area,” said Timothy Grove, Reclamation’s Great Plains Region AgriMet Coordinator.
By leveraging technical support and resources from the Bureau of Reclamation, the University of Idaho, and Washington State University, Anheuser-Busch has forged a unique partnership to conserve water while assuring high standards for crop quality and certainty.
For more information about AgriMet, visit http://www.usbr.gov/gp/agrimet.
For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch and its world-class brewmasters have carried on a legacy of brewing America’s most-popular beers. Starting with the finest ingredients sourced from Anheuser-Busch’s family of growers, every batch is crafted using the same exacting standards and time-honored traditions passed down through generations of proud Anheuser-Busch brewmasters and employees. Best known for its fine American-style lagers, Budweiser and Bud Light, the company’s beers lead numerous beer segments and combined hold 46.4 percent share of the U.S. beer market. Budweiser and Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita were named Brands of the Year for the Beer and the Spirits, Malt Beverages and Wine categories, respectively, by Ace Metrix® in 2014. Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev and operates 16 local breweries, 17 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities across the United States, representing a capital investment of more than $15.9 billion. Its flagship brewery remains in St. Louis, Mo., and is among the global company’s largest and most technologically capable breweries. Visitor and special beermaster tours are available at its St. Louis and five other Anheuser-Busch breweries. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.