Latest articles


It’s not glamorous, but feed barley is a bright spot

Demand has shot up over the past year but there’s a caveat — China has been the big buyer

Barley growers will have a tough choice this spring: Target an oversaturated malt market or go for the red-hot one — feed barley. “It’s got to be a question a lot of farmers are asking themselves, especially if you’re in a region where feed and malt prices have been about the same,” said Geoff Backman, […] Read more


Putting the success into farm succession

Hilton Ventures has grown by leaps and bounds but the greatest accomplishment is bringing in the next generation

By virtually any measure, the Hilton family is successful. Over the past three decades, the family has expanded its Strathmore-area operation from just over 2,800 acres to around 13,000, diversified crop production, and started a successful malting and brewing company that complements the core farm business. As well, family members have taken leadership roles in […] Read more



Being open to new ideas creates opportunity

Farm family isn’t fearful of doing something different if someone is passionate about it

When Kyle Geeraert was getting his start in agriculture one of his stops was managing a grain company, where he and wife Meleah were exposed to some new malting equipment they thought had promise. Meleah happened to have some connections in the industry. She is the daughter of Spencer and Lynne Hilton and malting barley […] Read more


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