GFM Network News


New malt varieties are being developed that nearly match the yields of feed and that will create new interest in barley, says breeder Aaron Beattie.

Is barley making a comeback?

The crop doesn’t generate a lot of excitement but that may be changing

If you stopped looking at Prairie acreage numbers two years ago, you can be forgiven for thinking barley is not the sexiest crop choice out there. Although it grabs lots of Alberta acres because of malting and feedlot demand, the barley sector is perceived to be slow to develop new varieties and tethered to inflexible […] Read more

There are multiple markets for soft white wheat — malting, milling, feed and as a feedstock for ethanol production, says Secan marketing rep Trent Whiting.

Malt driving demand for soft white spring wheat

Soft white spring acres in Alberta have rebounded thanks to the craft beer movement

Soft white wheat acres are starting to creep up in Alberta, thanks to the burgeoning craft beer movement. “There’s been a growing market for malting soft white wheat,” said Geoff Backman, markets manager with Alberta Wheat and Barley. “It’s been driven by demand from the craft brewing industry, and that’s a nice value-added market on […] Read more


New federal standard to expand beer ingredient options

More variety in allowable ingredients and more requirements for declarations are now part of the federal rules on what can be called beer in Canada. The federal government on May 1 announced “modernized” beer standards under Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) — the rules laying out the requirements to be met by a product […] Read more



Kyle Geeraert and wife Meleah found a receptive audience when they proposed creating a malting and brewing company.

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

Canada’s malt barley courts two different buyers

CNS Canada — The rising North American craft beer sector and strong demand out of China are both good news stories for Canada’s malt barley sector. However, those two customers have different needs which can also create some challenges, said industry officials speaking Tuesday at the annual Grain World conference in Winnipeg. Lorelle Selinger, North […] Read more


Hop growers Brent and Kari Tarasoff and brew master Marc Shields have seen incredible growth in their microbrewery over the past year — but the brewing business is not for the faint of heart.

Ponoka microbrewery eyes world domination

Kari and Brent Tarasoff had no intention of opening a brewery when they began growing hops in Penticton, B.C. four years ago. But their five-year plan got thrown out the window last year when they opened Siding 14 Brewing Company in Ponoka with two partners. And pretty soon, they’ll need to toss out their new […] Read more



Sleeman investing to bring back production from U.S.

Canada’s third-biggest national brewer plans upgrades at its southwestern Ontario plant, with which it plans to bring back some production it now contracts out to a U.S. brewery. Guelph-based Sleeman Breweries, owned since 2006 by Japanese brewer Sapporo, announced Monday it will invest $6.61 million to expand packaging capability, put up new beer tanks and […] Read more

This is the goal for every malt grower, but it’s not an easy one to achieve.

Trying to grow malt barley can make you cry in your beer

There’s way more money in malt than feed, but just 20 per cent of growers capture 80 per cent of malt sales

Kevin Sich thinks malt barley could give canola a run for its money any day of the week — even if market share doesn’t reflect that. “Malt barley is probably one of your most profitable crops. Return on investment is probably very strong,” said Sich, Rahr Malting’s grain department manager. “But if malt barley is […] Read more