Five Alberta malt barley growers honoured

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Fifteen barley producers from across Canada are being honoured under the Elite Barley grower recognition program for their excellence in producing malt barley in 2011.

The industry-sponsored program celebrates the best production techniques but also to shine a spotlight on the value of malt and malt barley production to the Canadian economy and agriculture in general, says Michael Brophy, president and CEO of the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI) and co-chair of the Elite Barley program said in a release.

“These elite growers take great care in pre-seeding planning and in the growing, harvesting and storage management of their malting barley to meet the needs and specifications of their customers,” says Brophy. “They treat their malting barley as a specialty crop.”

“Only the very best growers consistently achieve malt barley status with their crop each year,” says Elite Barley co-chair, Michael Edney of the Canadian Grain Commission. “The growers nominated under this program typically represent that level of success. They represent the first step in Canada’s reputation for malt excellence worldwide.”

Alberta Growers nominated for 2011 are Frank Hamel, Olds; Gerard Neill, Morrin; Chris and Bob Izyk, Blackie and Mike Vavrek, Sexsmith.

All 15 growers describe some of their techniques for producing malt barley in a report available at www.elitebarley.com.

Nominating companies include BARI-Canada Inc.; Canada Malting Co. Ltd.; Rahr Malting Canada Ltd.; Richardson Pioneer, Prairie Malt Limited; Seed-Ex Inc., South West Terminal, and Viterra.

Key sponsors include the Alberta Barley Commission, Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute, Brewers Association of Canada, SeCan, Syngenta and the Western Barley Growers Association.

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