Quality of Western Canadian malting barley 2018

Barley production

Annual statistics

The total area planted with barley in Western Canada in 2018 was 2.501 million hectares, indicating a 12.7% increase compared to the 2017 acreage (Table 2.1). The production of barley in Western Canada in 2018, estimated at about 7.997 million tonnes, was about 6.4% higher than in 2017 (Table 2.1). The average yield for barley in Canada (entire country) is estimated at 65.0 bushels per acre in 2018, compared to 69.4 bushels per acre in 2017 (Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 32-10-0359-01).

Barley production in Alberta (including the northeastern part of BC), Saskatchewan, and Manitoba increased by 2.9%, 9.7% and 14.4% respectively, compared to last year. Figure 2.1 shows the annual barley acreage and production in Western Canada since 2008. In 2018, the area seeded with barley was about 7.7% lower than the 10-year average, and the production of barley was 2.8% lower than the 10-year average (2008-2017).

Table 2.1 Yearly comparison of barley seeded area and production in CanadaFootnote1
Seeded area Production
2018 2017 2016 2008 to 2017 average 2018 2017 2016 2008 to 2017 average
million hectares million tonnes
Manitoba 0.131 0.107 0.168 0.192 0.501 0.438 0.588 0.613
Saskatchewan 1.089 0.941 1.002 1.046 3.439 3.135 3.375 3.036
Alberta and British Columbia 1.280 1.170 1.405 1.471 4.057 3.944 4.457 4.563
Western Canada 2.501 2.219 2.575 2.710 7.997 7.516 8.419 8.225
Canada 2.628 2.336 2.702 2.870 8.380 7.891 8.839 8.716

Figure 2.1 (a) Barley seeded area in Western Canada from 2008 to 2018

Graph:Barley seeded area in Western Canada,2008-18.Details below

  • Details
    Barley seeded area in Western Canada from 2008 to 2018
    Province 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 10 year average
    Alberta and British Columbia 1.709 1.629 1.540 1.442 1.554 1.503 1.317 1.441 1.405 1.170 1.280 -
    Saskatchewan 1.538 1.396 0.864 0.880 1.062 1.024 0.809 0.947 1.002 0.941 1.089 -
    Manitoba 0.330 0.283 0.194 0.138 0.219 0.182 0.121 0.182 0.168 0.107 0.131 -
    Western Canada 3.553 3.298 2.590 2.505 2.835 2.709 2.248 2.570 2.575 2.219 2.501 2.710

Figure 2.1 (b) Barley production in Western Canada from 2008 to 2018

Chart:Barley production in Western Canada,2008-218.Details below

  • Details
    Barley production in Western Canada from 2008 to 2018
    Province 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 10 year average
    Alberta and British Columbia 5.495 3.886 4.559 4.607 4.519 5.631 4.174 4.357 4.457 3.944 4.057 -
    Saskatchewan 4.594 4.080 1.938 2.439 2.351 3.412 2.173 2.863 3.375 3.135 3.439 -
    Manitoba 1.121 0.958 0.487 0.261 0.618 0.705 0.355 0.599 0.588 0.438 0.501 -
    Western Canada 11.214 8.925 6.984 7.432 7.489 9.748 6.702 7.819 8.419 7.516 7.997 8.21

Barley is a versatile crop grown for malting, food, and general purposes (feed and forage) across the Canadian Prairies. This year in Alberta, general purpose barley accounted for 51.2% of total barley seeded area compared with malting barley at 45.3% (Figure 2.2a). In Saskatchewan, the majority of the seeded area (71.1%) was planted with malting barley varieties (Figure 2.2a). In Manitoba, about 45.6% of barley seeded area was allocated to malting varieties and 49.1% to general purpose varieties (Figure 2.2a). Overall in Western Canada, malting barley accounted for 56.3% of seeded area in 2018 compared to 53.2 to 60.8% in previous years (Figure 2.2b). General purpose barley accounted for 36.5% of seeded area in 2018. Food barley continued to occupy a relatively small percentage of seeded area in each province. Overall, this year the area seeded with food barley in Western Canada was higher than in previous years (Figure 2.2b).

Figure 2.2 (a) Distribution of barley classes as a percentage of total area seeded with barley in each province in 2018

Graph:Percentage of total area seeded with barley in each province,2018.Details below

  • Details
    Distribution of barley classes as a percentage of total area seeded with barley in each province in 2018
    Province Malting Food General Purpose Not specified
    Alberta and British Columbia 45.3 3.0 51.2 0.5
    Saskatchewan 71.1 0.3 16.9 11.7
    Manitoba 45.6 3.7 49.1 1.6
    Western Canada 56.3 1.9 36.5 5.3

Figure 2.2 (b) Distribution of barley classes as a percentage of total area seeded with barley overall in Western Canada from 2015 to 2018

Chart:Percentage of total area seeded with barley in Western Canada,2015-18.Details below

  • Details
    Distribution of barley classes as a percentage of total area seeded with barley overall in Western Canada from 2015 to 2018
    Crop years Malting Food General Purpose Not Specified
    2018 56.3 1.9 36.5 5.3
    2017 60.8 1.3 31.7 6.2
    2016 56.2 0.6 37.3 5.9
    2015 53.6 0.3 39.5 6.1

In 2018, CDC Copeland and AC Metcalfe continued to dominate the portfolio of malting barley cultivars being grown in Western Canada, representing about 76.1% of total area seeded with malting barley (Table 2.2). The area seeded with CDC Copeland (46.31%) significantly exceeded the acreage seeded with AC Metcalfe (29.79%). The third most popular variety in 2018 was AAC Synergy, whose acreage has continuously increased since 2014. The areas planted with several recently registered two-rowed cultivars, including CDC Bow, AAC Connect, CDC Platinum Star, CDC Clear, CDC Fraser, and Lowe, continue to grow but remain relatively small in 2018. Together they account for about 2.66% of area seeded with malting barley varieties in Western Canada (Table 2.2).

The production of six-row malting barley continued to decline. In 2018, the six-row cultivars occupied only about 4.67% of the total area seeded with malting barley. Legacy, Celebration and Tradition remained the top three six-row varieties (Table 2.2).

Table 2.2 Distribution of malting barley cultivars as percentage (%) of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada from 2014 to 2018

Data source: Sask Crop Insurance, Alberta Ag Financial Services Corp, Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation, and BC Crop Insurance

Two-row malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada
Variety 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
CDC Copeland 46.31 48.76 44.70 35.38 29.81
AC Metcalfe 29.79 32.04 34.20 38.50 38.87
AAC Synergy 11.22 7.43 5.19 0.84 0.21
Newdale 2.19 2.27 3.07 5.23 5.69
Bentley 1.41 1.84 2.71 3.35 2.37
CDC Bow 0.91 0.26 0.01 - -
AAC Connect 0.77 0.11 0.01 - -
CDC Meredith 0.74 0.72 1.84 5.24 9.81
CDC PlatinumStar 0.68 0.38 - - -
CDC Kindersley 0.38 0.49 0.91 1.70 0.95
CDC Clear 0.17 0.02 - - -
CDC PolarStar 0.15 0.44 0.93 1.44 2.05
Merit 57 0.081 0.06 0.20 0.67 0.65
Major 0.069 0.02 0.13 0.43 0.75
Harrington 0.059 0.14 0.04 0.16 0.27
CDC Fraser 0.032 0.01 - - -
Cerveza 0.030 0.04 0.04 0.02 0.03
Sirish 0.020 - - - -
Lowe 0.014 0.01 - - -
Other 0.28 0.14 0.33 0.55 0.23
Total 95.33 95.16 94.32 93.50 91.70
Six-row malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada
Variety 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Legacy 3.19 3.21 3.17 3.25 4.45
Celebration 0.85 0.79 1.17 1.31 1.14
Tradition 0.35 0.42 0.63 0.90 1.27
Stellar ND 0.06 0.04 0.12 0.15 0.50
Robust 0.06 0.04 0.09 0.16 0.23
CDC Battleford 0.04 0.04 0.09 0.13 0.11
CDC Yorkton 0.03 0.13 0.11 0.22 0.33
CDC Anderson 0.01 0.09 0.10 0.07 0.03
Other 0.07 0.08 0.18 0.27 0.35
Total 4.67 4.85 5.67 6.46 8.41

Table 2.3 Distribution of malting barley cultivars as percentage (%) of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada in 2018

Table 2.3 shows the distribution of malting barley cultivars in each province as percentage of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada in 2018. The production of two-row cultivars dominated in each province. In Alberta and BC, CDC Copeland was the most popular variety; in Saskatchewan, CDC Copeland and AC Metcalfe dominated the acreage seeded with malting barley. Compared to Alberta and Saskatchewan, the area seeded with malting barley in Manitoba was relatively low. In 2018, the most popular cultivars seeded in Manitoba were AC Metcalfe, CDC Copeland, and AAC Synergy (Table 2.3).

Data source: Sask Crop Insurance, Alberta Ag Financial Services Corp, Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation, and BC Crop Insurance

Two-row malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada
Variety Alberta and British Columbia Saskatchewan Manitoba
CDC Copeland 22.31 22.95 1.05
AC Metcalfe 7.91 20.76 1.12
AAC Synergy 6.34 3.88 1.00
Newdale 0.63 0.94 0.62
Bentley 1.01 0.24 0.16
CDC Bow 0.74 0.17 0.01
AAC Connect 0.46 0.16 0.15
CDC Meredith 0.42 0.29 0.02
CDC Kindersley 0.17 0.17 0.04
CDC PolarStar 0.01 0.15 -
CDC PlatinumStar - 0.68 -
Harrington 0.07 0.03 -
Cerveza 0.03 - -
CDC Clear - 0.14 0.02
CDC Fraser 0.03 - -
Lowe 0.01 - -
Other 0.43 0.03 0.01
Total 40.53 50.59 4.21
Six-row malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in each province
Variety Alberta and British Columbia Saskatchewan Manitoba
Legacy 0.35 2.74 0.09
Celebration - 0.23 0.62
Tradition - 0.03 0.32
CDC Yorkton 0.02 - 0.01
CDC Anderson 0.01 - -
Olli 0.03 - -
Stellar ND - - 0.06
Robust 0.02 - 0.04
CDC Battleford 0.04 - -
Excel 0.01 - -
Conquest - - 0.02
Total 0.50 3.00 1.17
Total malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in each province
Province Alberta and British Columbia Saskatchewan Manitoba
Total malting 41.03 53.59 5.38

Recommended malting barley varieties for 2019 to 2020

The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) recommended list is designed to provide producers with an indication of which malting barley varieties have the greatest potential for selection and marketing. Each variety on the recommended list has been pilot scale tested at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre and all exhibit good malting and brewing characteristics. All varieties on the list are registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Recommended varieties
Variety Type Market comments Seed distributor
CDC Copeland Two row Established demand SeCan
AC Metcalfe Two row Established demand SeCan
AAC Synergy Two row Growing demand Syngenta
AAC Connect Two row Growing Demand CANTERRA SEEDS
CDC Bow Two row Growing Demand SeCan
Legacy Six row Limited Demand FP Genetics
  • Marketing opportunities remain for Newdale (FP Genetics) and Bentley (CANTERRA SEEDS) in certain regions. Contact Canada Malting in Calgary for contracting opportunities.
  • CDC PlatinumStar (CANTERRA SEEDS) is a closed-loop variety. Contact Prairie Malt/Cargill in Biggar for contracting opportunities.
  • Demand for six-row malting barley is limited. Contact Viterra in Regina for Legacy contracting opportunities. Contact Malteurop in Winnipeg for Tradition (FP Genetics) and Celebration (CANTERRA SEEDS) contracting opportunities.
  • In Eastern Canada, AC Metcalfe, Newdale, and AAC Synergy have had the greatest success in selection in recent years.

Varieties in development

These newly registered varieties are undergoing seed propagation and commercial market development. Contact the seed distributor for opportunities to trial these promising new varieties.

New varieties
Variety Type Comments Seed distributor
CDC Fraser Two-Row Undergoing seed propagation SeCan
Lowe Two-Row Undergoing seed propagation SeCan
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