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



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


Revenues fall but so do expenses at Alberta Barley Commission

The Alberta Barley Commission saw revenues fall by nearly $800,000 but still posted a surplus last year. Revenue fell to $4.1 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year from $4.9 million a year earlier, largely due to a drop in checkoffs and less revenue from the AgriInnovation program. But costs also were lower, including a drop of $360,000 […] Read more



Recommended malting varieties list released

The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre has released its annual list of recommended malt barley varieties. The list represents varieties that the centre recommends based on the greatest potential for performance, quality, and marketability. The recommendations are published annually with input from grain companies, domestic and international maltsters and brewers, grower associations as well as […] Read more


Barley groups pledge $2.4 million for barley breeding

Thanks in part to producer funding, the Crop Development Centre has released more than 70 barley varieties

Alberta Barley, its Saskatchewan and Manitoba counterparts, and the Western Grains Research Foundation will provide more than $2.4 million over five years to the barley variety development program at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre. Since 1995, producers have invested almost $15 million into barley variety development through the research foundation. “This funding provides […] Read more