Latest articles


It’s a year of disappointment for most Alberta malt barley growers

Wicked harvest will see a lot of the malt crop downgraded, but maltsters appear to have enough

Jeff Nielsen considers himself one of the lucky ones — he got all his barley off before winter-in-September weather arrived and knows it’s malt quality. “If you got it off before all this crappy weather, you may have malt. If you still have barley now, it’s very doubtful that you have malt,” the Olds-area producer […] Read more


Alberta Barley seeking nominations

Deadline is Oct. 31

Alberta Barley is seeking nominations for 25 positions — two directors in Regions 5 and 6; one director-at-large for Regions 1, 3, 5, and 6; and 22 delegate spots. Any farmers seeking a director or director-at-large position must submit paperwork via fax to Alberta Barley at 1-403-291-0190 or by email to [email protected] by Oct. 31. […] Read more



Lacombe distillery gets by with a little help from its friends

Old Prairie Sentinel wouldn’t survive without its locally grown ingredients, says owner

It takes a village to distil high-quality spirits. Just ask Rob Gugin. “We rely a lot on our neighbours,” said the owner of Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery in Lacombe. “This area of the world is famous for its malt barley, and our neighbours in Alix at the Rahr Malting plant make some of the best […] Read more


‘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


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


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



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


New technology poised to give barley a boost

Researchers aim to breed barley tailored to very specific needs

There’s a bright future for boring old barley. Aside from malt, barley doesn’t generate a lot of excitement for Prairie grain growers — something you can see in acreage figures (which have fallen by more than a third in Alberta and by nearly half in Western Canada during the past decade). But new technology is […] Read more