Latest articles

‘Terroir’ turns everyday malt into ‘luxury barley’

From central Oregon to Daysland, growers are turning a commodity crop into something unique and special

Whisky from Scotland’s Isle of Islay. Champagne from its namesake region of France. Craft malt from Daysland, Alberta. People will pay a premium for all sorts of specialty products — as long as they like the taste. The brewing industry isn’t quite there yet, but it could be. Just ask Seth Klann. “We’ll buy wine […] Read more

Three recent barley varieties to check out

Here are three recent barley varieties developed by Agriculture Canada breeders. Roseland is a new two-row spring hulless food barley cultivar with excellent bread-making qualities developed at the Brandon Research and Development Centre. It has improved lodging resistance, higher test weight, and better threshability than check cultivar Millhouse and similar flour quality characteristics to Falcon […] Read more

It’s a Spornado! But that’s good news for cereal growers

New tool for detecting disease-causing spores being rolled out across the Prairies

Hold on to your hats — the Spornado is coming. “(The Spornado) is a really good tool that’s been developed over the last couple of years,” said Trevor Blois, disease diagnostician for 20/20 Seed Labs. “It’s just a passive spore catcher that has been used by potato growers in Ontario to detect late blight spores, […] Read more

Bold new plan aims to generate some new love for barley

New action plan targets seven million barley acres and yields of 95 bushels per acre by 2028

The current state of Canada’s barley industry is grim. “Barley’s piece of the pie is shrinking,” said Shannon Sereda, manager of market development and policy for Alberta Barley. “It’s no longer in a dominant position like it once was in Western Canada.” Barley acres across the Prairies have been in a long-term decline, Sereda said […] Read more

Feed barley prices beating out malt

Demand is strong for both feed and malt, but there’s plenty of the latter sitting in warehouses and bins

Farmers with barley in the bin have a bit of a love-hate relationship with barley prices right now. They love that feed prices are so high, but hate that malt prices are so low. “These prices are definitely something — to have feed prices where they’re at right now, it’s definitely out of the norm,” […] Read more

Italian durum exports hit by labelling rule

Exports to our best long-term customer have plunged because of a new labelling rule and safety accusations

Canada needs to fight back to hold on to one of its biggest durum markets, says a top official with the association representing Italian pasta makers. “We know that Canadian durum wheat is excellent for pasta production, but unfortunately some Italian farm organizations have made a very tough campaign against it over the past years,” […] Read more

For pasta makers, Canadian durum is eccellente

Texture and colour are key to top-quality pasta and Canadian Western Amber durum provides both

Most Italian pasta makers don’t need convincing about the quality of Canadian durum. While some companies have developed lines of pasta using only durum grown in Italy, they tend to be specialty products, partly because pasta makers aren’t able to source large volumes from Italy with the durum quality they need, said Luigi Cristiano Laurenza, […] Read more

Wheat class is now in session — which one will you grow?

Hard red spring dominates wheat acres in Alberta, but you have to do the math for your farm

So what’s it going to be on your wheat acres? Canadian Prairie Spring or Canadian Western Red Spring? “For us, it all comes down to what we can grow well and how it pencils out in terms of profitability,” said Hannah Konschuh, who farms near Cluny. “Usually, it’s dictated by the markets. At this point […] Read more


Face-to-face visits with our customers pay dividends

You may not know that some of your wheat goes to Nigeria or why building relationships with new customers is so vital

Who are Canada’s top wheat customers? Some of the answers to that question, such as Japan, will be no surprise to anyone. But many would not expect to see one of our newest top customers, Nigeria, on the list. Fifteen to 20 years ago, I would have never guessed that I would be in Nigeria […] Read more

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