Alberta Barley

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Mar 8

Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley welcome signing of CPTPP, urge quick passage to ensure Canadian farmers stay competitive

Posted on Mar 8 By: Victoria Decker

(Calgary, Alberta), March 8, 2018 – The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley today welcomed the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP). The Commissions urge quick passage by Parliament to ensure Canada is among the first group of countries included when the trade deal takes effect. The CPTPP will unlock new access and improve the trading environment for wheat and barley products throughout member countries and ensures Canadian farmers will stay competitive. The deal was signed at an official ceremony in Chile earlier today.

Quick passage will ensure that Canada does not lose out on export opportunities to our main competitors, including Australia and New Zealand, who have signalled that they will move forward quickly with ratification upon signing the agreement. These two countries have pre-existing trade agreements with Japan, one of Canada’s largest markets for wheat exports.

Countries within the TPP zone import more than 6 million tonnes of wheat annually, representing nearly 27 per cent of Canada’s wheat export market valuing over $1.5 billion in farm revenues.

“Canadian farmers are export dependent. This agreement not only opens up new market opportunities which will translate to added profitability for this industry, but it will also ensure that Canada isn’t losing market share to our main competitors within the CPTPP zone,” said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair.

Impacts on our sector will be immediate once this agreement goes into effect. For wheat exports, Canadian farmers will gain a major advantage over U.S. wheat entering into Japan – one of Canada’s biggest markets – since the U.S. is no longer part of the agreement. For Canadian barley, reduction or elimination of tariffs and quotas for feed, food and malt will translate into an additional 400-500 thousand tonnes and $100 million in increased revenue through direct exports, and through domestic feed and malt processing demands to countries in the CPTPP zone. CPTPP will also help Canadian barley to regain its foothold in the Japanese market after seeing a 75 per cent loss between 2012 and 2015 due to Australia’s free trade agreement with Japan. Canadian barley will also see increased demand within domestic markets since Canadian beef exports are one of the largest projected export gains.

“Today’s announcement is a big win for the agri-food sector,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Chair. “CPTPP paves the way for significant diversification in our markets, new export opportunities and better competitive advantage for Canadian farmers.”

The CPTPP may expand beyond its current members opening up new markets including Indonesia, the world’s largest importer of wheat. The deal currently includes Canada, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Mexico and Brunei Darussalam. Together they represent a market of 500 million people and 13.6 per cent of the global GDP.

Media Contact:
Victoria Decker
Interim Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission

Feb 28

Alberta Barley producers eligible for 17 percent SR&ED tax credit for 2017 research investments 

Posted on Feb 28 By: Victoria Decker


(Calgary, Alberta), February 28, 2018 – Alberta Barley advises farmers that 17 per cent of their 2017 check-off payment is eligible for the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit for their investment in Alberta Barley-funded research and development (R&D) projects. For example, farmers who paid $100 in check-off to Alberta Barley in 2017 would earn $17 in tax credit.

The federal SR&ED tax program is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and encourages businesses to invest in and perform research and development (R&D) in Canada.

Alberta Barley’s percentage is based research investments over the past fiscal year that align with the program. Alberta Barley’s research investments provide support for innovation and technological advancement in the agriculture industry.

Farmers must include use Form T661 with their tax return along with either Form T2SCH31 (incorporated businesses) or Form T2038 (Individuals).  Farmers can learn more about the SR&ED program by visiting the CRA website.

To receive the SR&ED credit from their investment in Alberta Barley, farmers must not have requested a check-off refund this year.

Additional SR&ED tax credits are available for producers who paid check-off into the following organizations:
Alberta Wheat Commission – 21 per cent
Alberta Canola Producers Commission – 14.32 per cent
Alberta Pulse Growers – will be noted on when available.
Alberta Oat Growers Commission – 11.8 per cent

Farmers looking for more information from Alberta Barley can contact:
Syeda Khurram
Chief Financial Officer and Director of Human Resources
Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley

Media Contact:
Victoria Decker
Interim Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission

Jan 31

Alberta Barley and Alberta Wheat Commission will move ahead with shared management team

Posted on Jan 31 By: Victoria Decker

(Edmonton, Alberta) January 31, 2018 – The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley today announced that they are moving forward with a shared management structure, providing added value and cost savings to the province’s wheat and barley farmers.

The move follows a four-month trial period, during which both boards and management assessed the feasibility of the shared structure. During the next phase of this work, management will formalize an operating model that will see the team serve both the Alberta Wheat and Barley boards.

“Alberta Barley and Wheat staff have always worked collaboratively,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Chair. “Now operating as one team, we’re able to further leverage the relationship between the commissions to create better efficiencies that serve both crops.”

“Working with Alberta Barley is a natural partnership,” said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair. “With this new structure, we believe we can provide better return on investment to wheat and barley farmers.”

Tom Steve was appointed as Interim General Manager of Alberta Barley in September, coinciding with the commissions’ decision to move ahead with a trial of the shared structure. Steve, who has served as AWC’s General Manager since 2014, will now serve as General Manager of both commissions and lead the transition to a new operating model reporting to the boards of Alberta Barley and AWC.

Moving to a single management structure is a logical next step for the commissions since they have been sharing an office since 2013 as well as a number of staff positions across the finance, admin and GrainsWest teams.

Media Contact:
Victoria Decker
Interim Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission


Jan 19

Alberta Wheat and Barley call on the Government to ratify TPP-11

Posted on Jan 19 By: Megan Evans

Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, PC, MP
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A3

January 18, 2018
Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley
6815-8 St. NE, Suite 200
Calgary, Alberta, T2E 7H7

Dear Prime Minister:

The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley, on behalf of 14,000 primary producers within the province, implore the government to move ahead on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Canadian agriculture has a role, some would say even an obligation, to help feed growing populations. This is especially true in developing countries. Our productive capacity is untapped, and some would estimate that we could feed another billion people from the crop capacity right here in the prairie provinces. However, we need to have the competitive trade regulations in place to ensure that our agricultural goods can end up on the shelves of growing nations.

Alberta’s producers are dependent on export opportunities for our agricultural products.  Countries within the TPP zone import more than six million tonnes of wheat annually.  This represents 27 per cent of Canada’s wheat export market at a value of over $1.5 billion in farm revenues. The CPTPP agreement will benefit the Agriculture and Agri-Food sector and continue to provide jobs in both rural and urban Canada.

Canadian producers are already feeling the effects from falling behind in trade deals.  Since Japan and Australia signed a free trade agreement in 2014, Canadian barley exports to Japan have fallen by 26 per cent. In conversations with the Japanese consulate, it is clear that the Japanese government is invested in seeing the CPTPP signed. It was plainly stated that there is no interest in a bi-lateral agreement. If the Canadian government chooses not to participate in CPTPP, Canada’s next chance for trade negotiations with Japan will have to wait until a government change in Japan. Unless we remain involved in agreements such as the CPTPP, our access to world markets will continue to diminish and the Agriculture and Agri-Food sector will stagnate.

AWC and Alberta Barley expect Canadian negotiators to be present in Japan when the final loose ends of the agreement are finalized in Japan at the end of January. We expect to see the Canadian Minister of International Trade to be on hand when the agreement in principle is scheduled to be signed at the end of February. Non-participation by Canada will cause significant harm to those who work in and those who rely on the business of Canadian agriculture.


Kevin Auch
Chair of Alberta Wheat Commission
Jason Lenz
Chair of Alberta Barley Commission


Dec 14

Alberta Barley chair, vice-chair re-elected

Posted on Dec 14 By: Megan Evans

Dec. 14, 2017 (Calgary, AB): Alberta Barley’s board of directors has re-elected region three director Jason Lenz as chair and region one director Dave Bishop as vice-chair following the 2017 annual general meeting on December 6.

“I had a great experience in my first year as chair and I am honoured to have been re-elected,” Lenz said. “Alberta Barley is going to do great things in the coming year.”

Lenz has been with Alberta Barley as a delegate since 2009. Since then, he has served on Alberta Barley’s research, policy and governance committees, the GrainsWest magazine board and was the Alberta Barley representative for the Barley Council of Canada for two years.

Lenz farms 2,500 acres of canola, wheat, barley and faba beans and operates a small cow/calf commercial herd outside Bentley, AB. His re-election marks his second year as chair.

Bishop, hailing from Barons, AB, has served as director since 2014. He serves on the Alberta Barley governance and market development committees and is on the executive of the Grain Growers of Canada board.

“Being a part of Alberta Barley has been a rewarding experience, and I am looking forward to continuing our work on behalf of producers across the province,” Bishop said. “Along with the rest of the board, I expect another year full of opportunity for Alberta barley growers.”

Bishop, region two director Jeff Nielsen and director-at-large Terry James were up for re-election this year. All won by acclimation.

For more information, contact:

Ellen Cottee
Communications Coordinator

Sep 27

Alberta Barley hires Tom Steve as Interim General Manager, Alberta Wheat and Barley undergo trial period operating with a shared management structure

Posted on Sep 27 By: Megan Evans

(Calgary, Alberta) September 27, 2017 – Alberta Barley is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Steve as interim general manager effective immediately. Steve currently serves as general manager of the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and will continue in this role as well.

With Steve now leading both commissions, the boards of AWC and Alberta Barley have approved a project to assess the feasibility of amalgamating their management teams over a four-month trial period. The move is aimed at streamlining the commissions’ collaborative relationship and increasing efficiencies that will better serve Alberta’s wheat and barley farmers.

“Our board saw this as an excellent opportunity to leverage the strong working relationship we have with the Alberta Wheat Commission,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Chair. “By exploring the idea of a single management team, we hope to identify ways to provide greater value to the province’s wheat and barley farmers.”

Alberta Barley and AWC already share office space as well as accounting and administrative staff, making this move a logical next step in further building the working relationship between the two commissions.

“Since our inception in 2012 we have collaborated with Alberta Barley on projects that serve both crops,” said Kevin Auch, AWC Chair. “With a shared management structure, we believe we can operate with maximum efficiency and provide the best possible return on investment to farmers.”

Following the trial period in early 2018, the two boards will determine whether they will formalize an integrated management structure operating under one general manager and reporting to both boards. Alberta Barley and AWC look forward to reporting on the results of the trial period and sharing next steps with farmers.

The general manager position at Alberta Barley has been vacant since Rob Davies left the commission on September 6, 2017.

Media Contacts:

Victoria Russell
Interim Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission

Ellen Cottee
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Barley

Sep 26

Get involved: Alberta Barley elections include 16 available positions

Posted on Sep 26 By: Megan Evans

Sept. 26, 2017 (Calgary, AB) Nominations are now being accepted for Alberta Barley’s 2017 director and delegate elections.

There are 16 positions available, including two directors (regions one and two) and one director-at-large (regions one, three, four or six). Thirteen spots are available for delegates with at least one opening in each of the Alberta Barley electoral regions.

“Alberta Barley does great work advocating on behalf of producers, and these elections are an opportunity to be involved in that work,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley chair. The Bentley-area farmer began representing Alberta Barley as a delegate in 2009, has served as region three director since 2013 and was elected chair in 2016. “Volunteering your time as a delegate or director is an effective way to make a difference in the industry.”

Any farmers seeking a director or director-at-large position must submit paperwork via fax to Alberta Barley at 1-403-291-0190 or by email to on or before Oct. 20, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. Votes for any  director-at-large will be cast at all six regional meetings, tabulated and then announced at the Alberta Barley AGM, Dec. 6 in Banff, AB.

Delegates are nominated and elected from the floor at each regional meeting.

All farmers running for a delegate or a director position must have produced barley in the region they are running for election in and paid a service charge on barley either in the current or previous two crop years, according to Section 17 of the Alberta Barley Plan Regulation. A director-at-large position allows a farmer to be eligible by having grown barley in any area of Alberta.

The following delegates are up for re-election. Delegates serve two-year terms with Alberta Barley.

Region 1 – Brian Witdouck, Brad Berger

Region 2 – Wade Christie, Shawn Gorr

Region 3 – Brad Wiese, Kevin Bender, Harold Haugen, Wade McAllister, Dick Wymenga, Trevor Petersen

Region 4 – Clint Jacula

Region 5 – Peter Smerychynski

Region 6 – Brent Konstapel

There are two directors and one director-at-large up for re-election. Directors and directors-at-large serve three-year terms with Alberta Barley.

Region 1, 3, 4 or 6 – Terry James (director-at-large)

Region 1 – Dave Bishop (director) 

Region 2 – Jeff Nielsen (director)

Click here for the director nomination form.

Click here for the director-at-large nomination form.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ellen Cottee
Communications Coordinator

Sep 6

CMBTC to Receive Continued Funding from Prairie Barley Commissions

Posted on Sep 6 By: Megan Evans

September 6, 2017 – Winnipeg, MB The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) announced today it will continue to receive funding from Alberta Barley, the Manitoba Wheat & Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) and the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley) to support its operations serving Canada’s malting barley value chain.

The announcement comes after the July 31 conclusion of the Western Canadian Deduction (WCD) check-off, which provided the CMBTC with $0.03 per tonne of barley delivered to Canadian Grain Commission licensed companies over the past five years.

The three provincial barley associations have taken over the collection and administration of the check-off for their respective provinces and committed to continue supporting the valued work the CMBTC provides to prairie farmers.

“One of our main goals at SaskBarley is to strengthen the competitiveness of Saskatchewan’s barley industry and the CMBTC supports this goal by facilitating programs that aim to commercialize Canadian malting barley,” says Jason Skotheim, SaskBarley Board Chair.

“The MWBGA is pleased to partner with SaskBarley and Alberta Barley to provide core funding to the CMBTC,” says Fred Greig, MWBGA Board Chair. “The CMBTC is a leader in providing market support, technical services and training to the malting barley value chain and its customers, with the goal of improving net returns for Manitoba and Canadian barley farmers.”

“Alberta Barley recognizes the value of the CMBTC’s expertise in malting and brewing, and their work to help create and sustain markets for Alberta’s malting barley farmers,” says Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Board Chair. “It’s part of the Canadian quality brand recognized by our international customers.”

Canada is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of malting barley and malt, with combined domestic and international sales revenues of $1 billion annually.

“Continued funding from farmers will support the CMBTC’s operations, including our work to introduce promising new varieties to our domestic and international customers,” says Peter Watts, Managing Director of the CMBTC. “With improved yield and disease resistance, and equal or better quality than existing varieties, the new lines will create value for farmers and help make malting barley an attractive crop to grow.”

For more information, please contact:

Peter Watts
Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre Managing Director

Jason Lenz
Alberta Barley Chair

Pam de Rocquigny
Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association General Manager

Delaney Seiferling
SaskBarley Communications Manager

About the CMBTC

Founded in 2000, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre supports the commercialization of Canadian malting barley and malt through applied malting and brewing research and technical support to members and customers. The CMBTC is a national, independent, non-profit organization with funding provided by members of the malting barley, malt and brewing industries, farmers, and provincial and federal governments.

Aug 21

Re-evaluation of Lambda-cyhalothrin

Posted on Aug 21 By: Megan Evans

Recently, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada has proposed a re-evaluation decision for Lambda-cyhalothrin (most commonly known as Matador) which would see the cancellation of use of the product for all food and feed commodities as well as indoor residential application.

Grain Growers of Canada has provided a template letter which will allow farmers to express comments and concerns to the PMRA as part of the official consultation and amplify our industry’s collective voice.

We encourage you to visit the GGC website to access the template letter and submission information. The deadline for submission is close of business Sept. 21, 2017.

If you have any questions please contact GGC’s Public Affairs Manager Lindsey Ehman directly.

Jun 29

Connecting the value chain from farm to fork: National EFP Summit will take place again this November

Posted on Jun 29 By: Megan Evans

(Calgary, Alberta) June 29, 2017 – As a member of The National Environmental Farm Plan (NEFP) steering committee, Alberta Barley invites Agri-food stakeholders from across the value chain to attend the second annual NEFP Summit in Ottawa this November. Building on unprecedented support from last year’s summit, attendees will further develop this national standard designed to connect environmentally sustainable practices at the farm level with global food buyers’ growing need to source sustainable ingredients.

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is a voluntary, whole-farm, self-assessment tool that helps farmers and ranchers identify and build on environmental strengths, as well as mitigate risks on their operations. The NEFP would not be a replacement program, but rather a harmonization effort across the existing EFP programs nationwide. Through a producer-driven national standard, the NEFP will be able to ensure consistency for buyers, regardless of where in Canada they source their products.

“The EFP has been a well-received and valuable tool for producers who have completed it,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley chair and member of the NEFP steering, verification and communications committees. “This initiative indicates producers want to demonstrate the environmental practices they already have in place, and are continuously looking to improve these efforts on their farms.”

The 2017 National EFP Summit will bring stakeholders together once again to learn about the NEFP steering committee’s progress and participate in valuable conversations that will further guide the national harmonization effort.

“The NEFP builds on the EFP’s more than 20 years of success within the farm and ranch community,” said Erin Gowriluk, NEFP Summit Chair and Policy and Government Relations Manager with the Alberta Wheat Commission. “The credibility of the EFP program has already attracted several major buyers. But the national standard will lay the groundwork for consistent sourcing from coast-to-coast while ensuring that the process continues to be driven by producers.”

The NEFP is well underway with work being led by a steering committee made up of stakeholders representing the entire agri-food value chain. Four sub committees are working toward developing a national protocol as it relates to data collection, standards and verification, all of which will be supported through comprehensive communications and stakeholder outreach. National EFP Summit attendees will hear from each committee, along with subject matter experts, about the progress to-date. These updates will serve to start a dialogue amongst attendees that will further guide this national standard.

Stakeholders can learn more about the NEFP and register for the 2017 National EFP Summit by visiting NEFP is always welcoming new stakeholders to become involved in shaping this made-in-Canada solution. Interested organizations should contact co-chairs Drew Black or Paul Watson.  Visit to view stakeholders currently involved.

Media Contact:
Ellen Cottee
Communications Coordinator