Alberta Barley

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Development of improved cultural practices for malting barley production in Eastern Canada

Project lead:
Dr. Aaron Mills
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Timeline: April 2013 – March 2018


Alberta Barley funding: $52,141
Total funding from other partners: $150,432

Benefits for barley farmers
Disease information, malt quality and other aspects of interest generated by the project will be useful to the fledgling micromalting industry, as well as the craft brewing industry, across the country. These industries drive barley demand and could increase profitability for barley farmers.

Cereals in Eastern Canada are essential for a balanced cropping system. Higher-value cereals provide more incentive for growers. There is currently a burgeoning craft brewing and micromalting industry that is focused on the growing and processing of locally produced barley.

Developments – June 2016
We have three years of agronomic data from PEI, and two years of agronomic data from the other sites. We will also soon have 2 years of malt quality data from the Grain Research Lab. This project is providing us with some very informative regional production data. We are seeing that fertility continues to be a moving target for quality in the East. This is evident not only in our trials, but also amongst growers in the region. Malt barley appears to be very sensitive to increased fertility; this is likely due to carry-over effects from the previous crop. Barley farmers in the region are benefiting from this information as interest in growing malt barley increases.

Objectives for the upcoming year – June 2016
Where the production of malting barley is relatively new in Eastern North America, it is important to evaluate the effects of agronomic management on malting quality in several locations, also over several years. All evaluations will be conducted as they have been in previous years. When this project wraps up, we should have an excellent idea of the response of malt barley to fertility and seeding rate relative to malt quality.

Learn More
Atlantic Brew: New Barley and Hop Varieties for Craft Breweries 


Updated June 2016