GFM Network News



With beer taps off, malt barley demand down

No significant drop in barley acres expected

MarketsFarm — Declining beer consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic will also lead to reduced demand for the malt barley to brew it — but acreage to the crop is unlikely to see much adjustment on the Prairies. “I don’t think there’s any question — without sporting events, and festivals, and concerts – that beer […] Read more


China-Australia row to reshuffle trade in bulging barley market

Gains for Canada, other exporters won't be 'magical'

Paris | Reuters — A prohibitive Chinese import tariff on Australian barley will benefit other suppliers without changing the bleak global outlook caused by large stocks and depressed beer demand, analysts and traders said. Beijing said on Monday it would apply an 80.5 per cent tariff on Australian barley imports for the next five years, […] Read more

CDC Copeland and AC Metcalfe are the undisputed heavyweights of Western Canada’s malt barley scene, accounting for 78 per cent of malt acres this year. But both are two decades old and new varieties such as CDC Bow — which has improved standability and lower beta-glucan content — may challenge that duopoly.

Better barley: There’s a long wish list for brewers and feeders

Yield is No. 1 for growers but elements such as ‘Lox,’ beta-glucan, and acid detergent fibre are key, too

Ask most barley producers what they want in a variety and the answers won’t surprise you: Better yield, standability and disease resistance. But when it comes to buyers, it gets a little more complex. Both foreign and domestic customers — especially beer makers, but also feeders — are looking for traits few people even thought […] Read more


Barley organization to streamline

Alberta Barley is welcoming the Barley Council of Canada’s decision to undergo a “strategic realignment.” Changes will involve collaboration on delivery of service and sharing of resources with Cereals Canada, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre, and the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute. The move follows a review by the Barley Roundtable, an initiative […] 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

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


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