Alberta Barley

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Hulless barley

From food to malt to feed, hulless barley has a wide array of end-uses.
Credit: Dr. Joseph Nyachiro
Prior to the barley health claim announcement in summer 2012, Alberta Barley initiated a hulless food barley project that spring. This was to ensure more food barley would be available for Market Development as barley’s health profile was raised.

In order to capitalize on the anticipated demand for hulless food barley, Market Development began making plans to create new market opportunities for the province’s barley farmers. With the assistance of Bill Chapman, crop business specialist for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, and Albert Wagner, the former director of Region Five, Alberta Barley recruited three farmers to plant approximately 30 acres of hulless food-grade barley.

Barley farmer Curtis Hoffmann is one of several Alberta farmers growing hulless barley.
Credit: AB Archives

Hulless 2013

In spring 2013, Market Development Coordinator Kara Barnes re-launched the program and delivered hulless barley field signs to five farmers growing varieties of hulless barley. Albertans traveling past any one of these five farms will be able to trace the development of the barley health food market to its absolute starting point. The farmers that participated in 2013 are Larry Gitzel (Stony Plain), Charlie Christie (Trochu), Matt Sawyer (Acme), Brain Gehlert (Stony Plain) and Curtis Hoffmann (Oyen).

For more information on Alberta Barley’s work with hulless barley, click here.

Planning for the future of hulless

Market Development has also launched a provincial Hulless Barley Business Development Committee composed of farmers, industry, (millers, seed companies and processors), and government. This committee met for the first time on June 20, 2013, and will work towards commercial levels of production, processing and consumption of hulless barley at all levels of the supply chain.

Alberta Barley Funding: $43,700 (2012–2013)

Project Partners:

  • Alberta Barley
  • Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development