Alberta Barley

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Breeding two-row barley cultivars for Western Canada at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Brandon Research Centre

Project lead:
Dr. W.G. Legge
Scientist, Barley Breeding and Genetics
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Timeline: April 2013 – March 2018


Alberta Barley funding: project management
Total funding from other partners: $185,248

Benefits for farmers
Germplasm currently being developed in the breeding program will result in new varieties that will increase the profitability and competitiveness of the entire barley industry, particularly through higher yields, improved disease resistance and good feed quality.

The project aims to develop two-row covered feed barley varieties for Western Canada, with improved disease resistance and agronomic performance combined with enhanced quality traits, in order to expand market opportunities at home and abroad. Emphasis has been placed on developing barley germplasm with improved resistance to Fusarium Head Blight.

Recent developments
Overall, the two-row feed barley breeding program at AAFC Brandon had a successful year in 2015-16 with good progress made on most objectives. Promising breeding lines were selected and advanced, and new crosses were made as appropriate. No new two-row feed barley lines were entered in the 2015 Western Cooperative Two-row Barley Registration Test, and none of the failed malting entries (i.e., TR15243, TR15244, TR15246 and TR15247) were high enough yielding to become a two-row feed cultivar.  Only TR15242 and TR15245 will be advanced to a second year in the 2016 test, but TR15242 is not high enough yielding to become a feed cultivar. TR15245 is a reduced phytate line that performed very well and may have potential as a two-feed cultivar should it fail as a malt.

There will be no two-row feed entries in the 2016 Western Cooperative Two-row Barley Registration Test, although it is possible one of the 4 new malting entries, TR16248, TR16249, TR1650 or TR16251, may fail and have potential as a two-row feed cultivar with registration recommendation in 2017-18 and possible registration the following year. These new entries were promoted from the 2015 Eastern Prairie Barley Test with 2 bred for FHB resistance. All lines combined good agronomic performance with acceptable malting quality and good disease resistance.

Objectives for the upcoming year
Project is ongoing with the same main objectives next year.

Last updated June 2016