Alberta Barley

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Genetic improvement in nitrogen use efficiency and grain yield of barley

Project lead:
Dr. Yadeta Kabeta
Research Scientist
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Timeline: April 2013 – March 2016

Partners:

  • Alberta Barley
  • Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund
  • Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions

Alberta Barley funding: $25,000
Total funding from other partners: $487,500

Summary:
The project aims to develop barley varieties with a superior ability to take up and utilize nitrogen, so that the rate of nitrogen fertilization can be reduced while continuing to improve grain yield.

Recent updates: 
Hundreds of newly developed barley lines were evaluated for nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in the last three and a half years through this project. The lines with the best NUE were selected and advanced. The selected lines showed up to 10% higher NUE than the check cultivar. The NUE lines yield well under high N conditions and show comparatively less yield reduction under the low N.

Benefits for farmers:
The availability of nitrogen-efficient barley varieties will reduce input costs, increase profit margins and make the Alberta barley industry more competitive in a global marketplace. High nitrogen use efficiency also reduces nitrogen loss to the environment and potential negative impacts on water and air quality. This contributes to environmentally responsible production practices and helps cultivate social license for the industry.

Read more:
Nitrogen Use Efficiency (March 26, 2014)