Alberta Barley

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The Growing Point

Welcome to The Growing Point

Our goal with this newsletter is simple; to provide Alberta farmers and agronomists with timely, relevant and valuable agronomic knowledge sourced from science-based research and projects funded by the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions. You will also find a few opinion articles addressing management perspectives and other agronomic pointers to help you make informed agronomic decisions.
This monthly newsletter will include written articles, audio interviews and videos. Additionally, impromptu information may be released to address timely agronomic problems in Alberta. We hope the agronomic information from these newsletters brings value to your farm. Have agronomy questions? Feel free to reach out by emailing me at the address below.


Jeremy Boychyn
Research Agronomy Extension Specialist

December 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

On January 7-8 2020, Alberta Agriculture conducted another edition of their long-standing Agronomy Update in Red Deer Alberta. The proceedings included presentations for lead researchers across Alberta and Western Canada. Not to mention a cameo from Hugh Beckie. Below you will find the presentation from each of the presenters. A huge thank you goes out to the planning committee, Alberta Agriculture, all of the presenters, and the wonderful attendees that make each Agronomy Update a success.

– Jeremy Boychyn, Agronomy Research Extension Specialist

Agnew – Smart Farming & Glimpse into Future 
Bartley – Importance of MRLs 
Beckie – Herbicide Resistance – AB & Australia 
Beres – Ultra Early Wheat Systems 
Boles – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 
Bowness-Davidson – Pulse Disease Update 
Crop Rotation Panel
Foster – Results from Seed Lab
Geddes – Wild Oat Cross-resistance & Testing
Gorzelak – Mycorrhizas
Heaney – Evidence Based Agronomy
Hennig – Clubroot Update
Jensen – Basic Soil Properties
Leeson – AB’s Current Weed Survey Results
Meers – Provincial Insect Update
Mezbahuddin – Evaluation of Enhanced N Fertilizers 
Mori – Insect Monitoring with Pheromones 
Otani – Beneficial Insects 
Strydhorst – CWRS Wheat Mtg for Yield & Protein Goals 
Tidemann – Keeping it Clean with Glyphosate 
Tidemann – Tank Mixing & Multiple Modes of Action
Turkington – Cereal & Oilseed Disease Update 
Turkington – Crop Rotation 
Zuzak – Biosecurity 

February 2020

January 2020

CMBTC Update: Winter Storage Recommendation – January 9, 2020

A reminder to farmers: check your bins. The difference between feed and malt can be $1.50/bushel or more!

With the challenging 2019 harvest behind us (at least for most) an important consideration for farmers with malting barley this winter will be properly storing and monitoring the grain to ensure quality does not deteriorate. Even barley that did not appear chitted at harvest is showing signs of pre-harvest sprouting when tested, and in some cases this is resulting in a loss in germination. If your barley has excess moisture levels (i.e. above 13.5%) and/or has not had a chance to cool down since harvest, it is at risk of heating, loss of germination and other issues such as mold and mildew.

Generally speaking, the industry standard for germination in malting barley is minimum 95%, and good storage conditions can help maintain malting barley vigour. Heating, mold and mildew can also lead to barley being rejected for selection as malt.

What to do?

  • Check your bin tops for moisture migration. A small bit of tough barley can ultimately spoil the whole bin if not addressed.
  • If your moisture level is above 13.5%, you should try to get the moisture down.
  • Run your aeration fans on cold days to freeze your bins. Cool and dry grain has greatly improved shelf life.
  • If air/heat is not possible in the bin, you may need to remove all or part of the grain from your bin to dry it, or at least cool it down before putting it back in the bin.

You can submit a sample to your local malting barley buyer to check the germination level of your barley. Questions can also be directed to:

Jill McDonald, SaskBarley

Geoff Backman or Jeremy Boychyn, Alberta Barley


Peter Watts


December 2019

We are into December and the majority of crop in Alberta is in the bin. However, there are significant acres in the northwest and Peace region that still require harvesting. On top of this, the challenges and impacts of low falling number (FN) continue to impact producers in Western Canada.

Through my discussions with farmers and agronomists over the past couple of months, I have been presented with a number of questions regarding FN. Some common questions relate to mitigation methods, causes for low FN and variety selection in relation to FN. With this in mind, I reached out to Dr. Richard Cuthbert with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to address some of these questions in the most recent edition of The Growing Point Podcast.

As always, if you have additional questions regarding FN or other agronomic challenges, please feel free to reach out to us.

Jeremy Boychyn, Msc P. Ag
Agronomy Research Extension Specialist
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions

Grasshopper Forecast 2020

Don’t miss Agronomy Update 2020

Wheat Initiative Growers Survey

Recommended malt barley varieties by CMBTC

June 2019

May 2019

Assessing cereal frost damage

April 2019