Alberta Barley

menu button

Breeding hulless malting and food barley varieties

Project lead:
Dr. Aaron Beattie
Assistant Professor, Plant Sciences
University of Saskatchewan

Timeline: April 2013 – March 2018

Partners:
AB-AAFC-WGRF

Alberta Barley funding: $24,690
Total funding from other partners: $157,725

Benefits for barley farmers
This project will produce hulless barley varieties with improved agronomic performance (e.g. yield, disease resistance, lodging resistance) and quality attributes to take advantage of potential novel markets in the malting brewing industry (e.g. a range of malting profiles to meet needs of craft and large brewers) and markets in the food industry (e.g. high beta-glucan and amylose). This will provide growers new opportunities to market their barley.

Summary
The project will produce hulless barley varieties with improved agronomic performance (e.g., yield, disease resistance, lodging resistance) and quality attributes to take advantage of potential novel markets in the malting and brewing industry (e.g., a range of malting profiles to meet the needs of craft and large brewers) and markets in the food industry (e.g., high beta-glucan, amylose).

Developments
CDC Clear (hulless malting barley) was licensed to SeCan and seed production began in 2015. This is the first hulless malting barley variety produced by the CDC which has begun commercial production. Significant interest and request for malt by both the craft (e.g. New Glarus Brewing) and large-scale brewing industry (e.g. Molson) has been received so commercial production of this variety is a positive first step to meeting this demand.

Results
The goals of this project were to produce hulless barley varieties with improved agronomic performance (e.g. yield, disease resistance, lodging resistance) and quality attributes to take advantage of potential novel markets in the malting brewing industry (e.g. a range of malting profiles to meet needs of craft and large brewers) and markets in the food industry (e.g. high beta-glucan and amylose) that were the focus of development work as part of the ABC AgriMarketing Program.This will hopefully provide growers new opportunities to market their barley.

Over the past year we performed 11 crosses devoted to producing two-row hulless food and malting varieties.  We advanced 10 F2, 12 F4 and 17 F5 populations in Saskatoon, sent 11 F1 and 10 F3 populations to our winter nursery in New Zealand, grew 3,300 F5 hills, 500 F6 lines in microplots and grew 66 F7 and F8 lines in yield trials. We also conducted ~10,000 grain quality analyses, ~1,700 malt analyses, collected ~5,000 molecular marker data points and sent ~4,000 lines for disease evaluation.

We had four 1st year and two 2nd year entries in the 2017 Western Cooperative Hulless Barley Test.

Over the course of this project we registered (or received support for registration) two food barley varieties.  CDC Ascent (HB13324) is a two-row hulless, high beta-glucan food barley. This line shows excellent yield potential in comparison to other food barley varieties.  HB12321 is a two-row hulless, high amylose/high beta-glucan food barley.  This line shows good yield potential in comparison to other food barley varieties. We hope that these two varieties will open new markets for barley producers in Western Canada and find a role within the food industry.  Their release coincided with efforts being led by the Alberta Barley Commission through the Agri-Marketing Program grant they received in 2013 to increase the use of food barley produced in Canada.

Updated July 6, 2018