Latest articles

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


Alberta Barley has three board and 17 delegate spots open

The deadline for nominations is Oct. 31 with the election taking place Dec. 8

Alberta Barley is seeking nominations for directors and delegates. There are 20 positions available, including two directors (Regions 3 and 4) and one director-at-large (Region 1, 2, 3 or 6). Seventeen spots are available for delegates with at least one opening in five of the six Alberta Barley electoral regions. “Volunteering your time as a […] Read more

Whew, there’s no malt shortage after all

Don’t cry in your beer — Alberta’s craft brewers have ‘lots’ of good-quality malt

Don’t worry — your favourite beer won’t be in short supply this year, despite recent reports that late-season moisture had seriously harmed Alberta’s malt barley crop. “The barley quality in 2016 is better than the 2015 crop, hands down,” said Kevin Sich, grain department manager at Rahr Malting near Alix. “If I needed a lot […] Read more

Craft beer boom drives demand for new malt barley varieties

It’s all about consistency and efficiency for the big brewers, but the 
small guys want unique taste and also use more malt per batch

New malt barley varieties will soon hit the market to meet the growing demands of a burgeoning craft brewing industry. “The brewing and malting industry is changing,” said Pat Juskiw, a barley breeder with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “In the past, our industry has been composed of big companies — the Molsons, the Labatts, the […] Read more

New tool could speed up crop breeding

Alberta’s barley breeders now have access to both phenomic (field trial) and genomic data in one place. “The phenomic data is in the hands of the breeder, but the genomic data is generated through lab work,” said provincial researcher and biostatistician Rong-Cai Yang, who developed a new software program called the Barley Breeding Platform (BBP). “Usually […] Read more


Feed barley due for spring rally

Barley has been undervalued compared to feed wheat, 
but any price increases are likely to be modest

Feed barley in Western Canada usually sees a spring rally at this time of year, although the uptrend this year will be limited by large supplies still overhanging the market. Feed grains had trended lower through late February and into early March, with feed wheat leading to the downside. Losses in feed wheat spilled over […] Read more

New Alberta Barley director elected

Two directors have been acclaimed and one farmer elected as a director-at-large following Alberta Barley’s 2015 regional meetings. Region 5 director Bryan Adam (Stony Plain) and Region 6 director Gerald Finster (Valleyview) will return for a second term, while Shane DeBock (Barrhead) will replace Richard Mueller (Barrhead) as director-at-large, who will finish his second three-year […] Read more