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Wheat and barley groups merge management

The two organizations will have their own boards but are slimming down their administration costs

The trial went well, so the boards of Alberta Barley and the Alberta Wheat Commission have decided to permanently merge the management ranks of the organizations. “The ultimate goal of this exercise is to provide more value to you as producers,” Tom Steve told attendees at Alberta Wheat’s AGM at FarmTech. “We will continue to […] Read more


Trying to grow malt barley can make you cry in your beer

There’s way more money in malt than feed, but just 20 per cent of growers capture 80 per cent of malt sales

Kevin Sich thinks malt barley could give canola a run for its money any day of the week — even if market share doesn’t reflect that. “Malt barley is probably one of your most profitable crops. Return on investment is probably very strong,” said Sich, Rahr Malting’s grain department manager. “But if malt barley is […] Read more



Nothing to write home about but durum is getting second looks

This could be a year when half bad looks pretty decent, and that’s why durum is getting some attention

Pulse acres are expected to drop this year, and while many are predicting a corresponding rise in canola acres, another crop is drumming up some interest among producers. “I’ll be interested to see what happens this year with the possible decrease in pulses that could happen in Canada due to all the tariffs,” said Keldon […] Read more


A tsunami of Black Sea wheat is flooding global markets

The Black Sea troika of wheat producers used to be minnows — now they’re giants and still growing

The Russians aren’t coming, they’ve already arrived. And they’ve been joined by the Kazakhs and Ukrainians. The surge of wheat exports from Black Sea producers into global grain markets isn’t new, but most Prairie farmers may not appreciate just how strong they’ve become. “Russia continues to dominate the global wheat export trade,” market analyst Marlene […] Read more



Don’t let your guard down — fusarium still a risk

Dry weather greatly reduced the incidence of the fungal disease last year, 
but the threat is likely greater than ever

Producers should be on the lookout for fusarium head blight this year, even though the incidence of the fungal disease was down in 2017. “Forecasting head blight is really quite challenging,” said Mike Harding, a research scientist and plant pathologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Read more: Provincial legislation isn’t helping fusarium battle, say seed growers […] Read more


Provincial legislation isn’t helping fusarium battle, say seed growers

Grower groups argue a zero-tolerance approach is the wrong way to reduce its spread in Alberta

Fusarium graminearum is listed as a pest in the province, and that’s causing trouble for the crop industry. “Now that it’s in the pest act, it’s hard to get it out of the pest act,” said Ward Oatway, chair of the Alberta Seed Growers Association and owner of Oatway Seeds in Lacombe. His association, the […] Read more



You might soon be seeding in February or March

Researchers successfully grow ‘spring-type winter wheats’ in 
Alberta and say it could be an option by 2020

What kind of wheat crop might you get if you seeded in February or March? One that’s not half bad, if the preliminary results of a recent federal research study are any indication. “How can you get a little more yield? Well, you can put it in the ground a little bit earlier,” said University […] Read more


Malting barley production down, quality up

Western Canada’s barley acres continue to fall, but malting barley quality was excellent

There was less malt barley produced this year but what did come off looked good, according to the Canadian Grain Commission. The organization’s 2017 Quality of Western Canadian Malting Barley report noted lower production, less acres, and a yield decrease, but high kernel weights and plumpness across the Prairies. Alberta and northeastern B.C. (the two […] Read more



Alberta Wheat says goodbye to two founding board members

Kevin Auch and Greg Porozni have been on the commission’s board since its inception five years ago — and have jumped a few hurdles along the way

They say time flies when you’re having fun. But as two longtime Alberta Wheat board members prepare to say goodbye to the commission they helped build from the ground up, another saying seems just as fitting. It’s never too late to make up for lost time. “There was a void for a long, long time,” […] Read more


Jason Lenz continues as Alberta Barley chair

Alberta Barley’s board of directors has re-elected Jason Lenz as chair and Dave Bishop as vice-chair. Lenz has been with Alberta Barley since becoming a delegate in 2009 and farms 2,500 acres of canola, wheat, barley, and fababeans near Bentley and also has a small cow-calf herd. Bishop, who farms near Barons, has been a […] Read more